In fact, there is not any criminal offense in the scandalous revelation made by that organization. This is a well-known journalistic trick uncovering the truth. The human rights defenders stated this during the discussion at Media Center on April 12.
Before the parliamentary elections on April 2, "Informed Citizens Association" NGO published the records of the school principals, where they confessed that made lists of people for the Republican Party. After the elections, 30 school principals appealed to the court, demanding an apology of Daniel Ioannisyan, UIC program coordinator, and compensation of 2 million AMD to each one.
Ishkhanyan said that there is such a situation in the state that the education sector is politicized now and in this case, school principals and teachers are ready to deliver such services in order not to lose their jobs. “They are also the victims and the subjects of this system,” Ishkhanyan said adding that there is no criminal element in what the “Union of Informed Citizens” did.
He said that in the case of such disclosures, there are scandals and resigned people in civilized countries. “All the performers knew for sure that they will not be punished. I was sure that some measures would be taken against Daniel after the election, of course. And one of the reasons was that all the political parties except the Republican Party should make use of these disclosures, including the ultimatum that if this issue is not revealed, they would not participate in the elections,” he said.
Avetik Ishkhanyan, Arthur Sakunts, Head of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office, and Levon Barseghyan, Board Chairman of Journalists' Club “Asparez”, participated in a discussion entitled “The Assessment of the Human Rights Defenders on the Case Filed against Daniel Ioannsiyan” at Media Center on April 12.
Artur Sakunts believes that the principals should not apply to the court on the ground of slander but heads of administrative districts, governors of regional administrations and the headquarters of the Republican Party should apply to the court against the principals and state that what they said is a slander. “Now the government once again humiliate the principals and make them apply to court without any grounds,” he said, adding that the Republican Party leadership realizes very well that they have a direct responsibility but do not have the courage to accept that responsibility publicly.
Levon Barseghyan thinks that the lawsuits aim at intimidate apparently, not justice. “Instead of protection, they attack. This is a very wrong way. There is no slander in the publication of records, in my opinion. The qualification of slander is a result of either ignorance or gerrymander,” Barseghyan said, adding that the plaintiff “will appear in a very bad situation” and blame the instructors.
“They are absurd lawsuits; it is impossible to prove as they were not slandered. We spoke with several attorneys, lawyers, and experts,” Levon Barseghyan said, adding that an announcement will come soon and they would urge others to join it.
According to him, all political forces participating in the elections, as well as NGOs should state their positions about this issue. “Education is a field that applies to almost every citizen of Armenia. So now is the time for everyone to say their opinion clearly and overcome this problem. We must be able to accept this challenge and this system should change dramatically,” he said.
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Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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