In Respect of the Detention of the Armenian Public Activists of Georgia

On January 22, 2009 the special forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia detained Grigor Minasyan, the director of the Akhaltskha Armenian Youth Center of Samtskhe-Javakheti Region of Georgia and Sargis Hakobjanyan, the chairman of “Charles Aznavour” charitable organization. They were charged with “preparation of crime”, according to Article 18 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, and “formation or leading of a paramilitary unit” (Part 1 of Article 223) and “espionage” (Part 1 of Article 314).

The «Yerkir» Union considers these arrests as a deliberate provocation by the Georgian authorities, aimed at deterioration of the situation in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and worsening the Armenian-Georgian relations in order to achieve the following objectives:

1.    To distract the gradually increasing attention of the international community from the trial of the Javakheti Armenian political activist Vahagn Chakhalyan, during which the leader of the «United Javakhk» and its advocates raise the concerns and problems of the Javakheti Armenians, and demand their solution, which impels the Georgian authorities to commit new and apparent violations and iniquities at the court proceedings. 

2.    By putting up the playing card of the «Armenian separatism» before the international community, to avoid complying with its international obligations on the protection of the rights of the national minorities, including the Armenian minority.

3.    By putting up the same «Armenian separatism» card, to push the Armenian authorities to new compromises when it comes to solution of the problems of the Armenians of Javakheti and Georgia.

Therefore, the «Yerkir» Union appeals to the international community, urging them to take immediate measures in order to halt the deepening crisis and to address the socio-economic, linguistic, educational and religious problems of the Armenian minority of Georgia.

The international community has an obligation to send a clear message to the Georgian authorities, emphasizing that they have no alternative to the solving the problems of the ethnic minorities living in the country. Only a democratic Georgia, respecting its ethnic diversity, can avoid further disruption and guarantee the sustainable development of the country.

January 23, 2009

2 Comments

Filed under armenia, Democracy, Georgia, human rights, javakhk, world

2 responses to “In Respect of the Detention of the Armenian Public Activists of Georgia

  1. Pingback: Blogian (www.blogian.net) » Georgia: Armenian Activists Arrested

  2. Georgia Accused of Bullying Ethnic Armenians

    Some Yerevan politicians say arrest of Armenian activists on espionage charges is attempt to intimidate the minority. Politicians in Armenia have been angered by the arrest in Georgia late last month of two ethnic Armenians charged with spying for Russia’s secret services. …
    Georgian newspapers have barely mentioned the affair […].

    Some Armenian politicians, however, have been furious and said the arrests were an attempt to intimidate their ethnic kin in Georgia.

    Georgia’s state minister for re-integration Temur Lakobashvili said Russia had intensified espionage activities in the country since the August war over South Ossetia.

    […]

    The lawyer for the two arrested ethnic Armenians, Nino Andriashvili, said they were accused of cooperating with a Belarus-based organisation allegedly set up by Russia’s Federal Security Service, FSB, called the Association for Legal Assistance to the Population, ALAP.

    Andriashvili said the two men had admitted being involved in espionage, but denied a secondary charge of planning to create a private army. She said the investigators had a video of the two men discussing the creation of such an army with the local head of ALAP, but that they had not thought he was being serious.

    […]

    Other NGOs in the region also filled in the forms, though they realised the questions were unusual.

    “We all joked that this organisation reminded us of the FSB. And we were very surprised when we found out that they intended to spend so much money,” said the head of one NGO in Samtskhe-Javakheti, who asked to remain anonymous out of concerns that the criminal case might expand to take in other public figures.

    “We were told that the possible projects were unlimited, and the money also. I have worked for many years in the non-governmental sector. When has there ever been money like that?”

    The ALAP office in central Tbilisi closed a month ago. The telephones were disconnected, and they have not replied to emails.

    http://www.iwpr.net/?p=crs&s=f&o=349859&apc_state=henh

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