“Transitional justice is not what the majority of our society thinks it is. It doesn’t come to substitute for courts. There can be an exception: when we have mass killings, civil war or genocide-like crimes. But most of such countries did not have juridical authority and international courts were set up”, said Ishkhanyan.
According to the human rights advocate transitional justice should not be viewed as new courts or thought of as “trios”.
“It is about separate commissions that enjoy public trust, the so-called ''truth commissions'', that are to disclose formerly dark issues, conventionally put ‘deaths’, the circumstances, police department torture-related deaths that have been partly disclosed. It is also important to disclose the deaths from 95-99 in the peaceful army after the ceasefire, and today’s deaths and most importantly the disclosure of 2008 march 1”, Ishkhanyan said.
The other one can deal with overthrowing the constitutional order: “Since 1995 all the elections in Armenia have proceeded with violations of the constitutional order. In 1996 in one of the villages they threatened with a gun in a village and forced to change the records of the elections. Another commission can deal with political prisoners’ rehabilitation from the 1990s to this date. There can be another one dealing with corruption matters”.
Ishkhanyan added that all this must seemingly be followed by punishment but the key principle of the transitional justice is to establish solidarity in the society.
“In a number of countries there was discontent that it was not followed by punishment. It turned out later that it was correct. It is about evaluating, apologizing by the state, compensating, even building a monument for the innocent victims and most importantly guaranteeing that that will not repeat again. We had such a chance in 90-91 when Armenia became independent. The Soviet period repressions needed to be evaluated and in that case we would not have what we have now”, Ishkhanyan added.
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