dimanche 23 novembre 2008

Human rights Public figures join hunger strike of political prisoners in Armenia

Eight members of the "Committee in Defence of Political Prisoners" have stated that they join the protest action of 28 political prisoners who had announced a one-day hunger strike as a protest action against the "hypocritical and inconsistent policy of the Council of Europe."

Among those who have joined the protest action are the following persons: well-known film director Tigran Khzmalyan, human rights activist Vardan Arutyunyan, former vice-speaker of parliament and former political prisoner Karapet Rubinyan, commander of special battalion "Shushi" lieutenant colonel Zhirair Sefilyan, chairman of the NGO "Women of Armenia" Gayane Martirosyan and others.

"As a sign of solidarity with our comrades, who continue their heroic struggle for free and democratic Armenia even in prison, we, the members of the 'Committee in Defence of Political Prisoners', announce our own hunger strike on November 20," runs the statement of the Committee.

We remind you that the imprisoned activists of the opposition have declared their intention to hold on November 20 a one-day hunger strike in protest against "inconsistency and hypocrisy of the Council of Europe."

28 activists have disseminated their statement addressed to the Supreme Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg and running that despite their deep respect to his person and activities they refuse to meet him. They have motivated their refusal by passiveness of European bureaucratic structures.

The authors of the statement express their bewilderment with the fact that the European structures and, first of all, the Council of Europe, having in their hands a full set of facts about lawlessness and falsifications on the elections, have recognized the officially proclaimed results of the elections, having untied the hands of the ruling administration to launch repressions against their own people, and "to savagely disperse peaceful meetings and hold bloody massacres."

Among the authors of the statement are the former deputy general public prosecutor Gagik Dzhangiryan, former minister on incomes and member of the board of the "Republic" Party Smbat Aivazyan, and other activists of the opposition, namely: Vardan Malkhasyan, Musheg Sagatelyan, David Matevosyan, Samvel Karapetyan, Tigran Melkonyan, Petros Makeyan, Ashot Zakaryan and others.

See earlier reports: "Hammerberg reveals results of studying post-election events in Armenia," "Armenia: rallies in defence of political prisoners continue," "In Armenia, two residents of the city of Maralik go on hunger strike in support of arrested oppositionist," "Armenians of Europe rally in Brussels to protest on events in Yerevan."

Author: Lilit Ovanisyan, CK correspondent
Caucasian Knot information