Politics 14:26 25/07/2022 Armenia

'Avetik Chalabyan's arrest should be an alarm for society': Opposition activist's family, lawyers hold news conference

The trial in the case of opposition activist Avetik Chalabyan, a member of the Unification Movement, is to start soon, his defense team told a news conference in Yerevan on Monday, presenting the illegalities recorded during the preliminary investigation of the case.

Avetik Chalabyan has been illegally held in pre-trial custody for two and a half months now in a fabricated criminal case, and the defense team is preparing to mediate open court hearings, through which they will have the opportunity to present the absurdity of the case. The defense team is preparing to challenge the constitutionality of the article submitted to the charge.

"First, despite the fact that the new criminal code entered into force on July 1, 2022, on the same day we submitted a corresponding motion to the pre-trial body to qualify the possible act under the relevant article of the new criminal code, but the said motion was actually left without examination, because that no response has been received so far. Then the court included obviously false information in its decision and extended Avetik Chalabyan's detention period on the basis of said false information. Incidentally, the investigator did not carry out a procedural action to introduce the case materials. The temptation was so great to keep Chalabyan in detention that they went the way of a rough law violation, if you like, a criminal violation," Varazdat Harutyunyan, Chalabyan's attorney, said, pointing to the numerous violations committed during the preliminary probe.

"It's been 2.5 months that I have been held hostage by the authoritarian regime ruling the country. If at the beginning of all these processes there was a tinny suspicion on the essence of the case, now the facts make it obvious that this is an organized reprisal that is happening to me and already to my family. However, my case is just one link in the long chain of repressions that have been taking place against patriotic and decent citizens, starting from the ordinary soldier to the former president of the country, during the last four years, but especially after the war ingloriously lost by the regime. All this is taking place under the silent gaze of many Western institutions, which seem to have forgotten their fundamental commitments regarding the establishment of democracy and the rule of law, and based only on their well-known geopolitical considerations, look with indulgence at the celebration of illegalities unfolding in our country," Chalabyan's wife, Anahit Adamyan, read out his message from Armavir Penitentiary.

"The arrest of Avetik Chalabyan should sound as an alarm for our society, which is still in a deep slumber, and until now has not noticed this injustice or paid due attention to it. Imprisoning a well-respected public figure without any reason, prolonging his imprisonment at any cost, and persecuting his family member is nothing but a sign of confirmation of the dictatorship of one person. In relation to this particular case, the circumstance of usurpation of the power was demonstrated. the instruction to the National Assembly to recriminalize the act blamed on Avetik and the instructions to the courts to arrest Avetik in the absence of a basis for it. Toleration of this injustice will affect all of us," said a member of the Unification Movement, candidate of historical sciences and associate professor, Menua Soghomonyan.

The trial in Chalabyan’s case begins on July 26 and the defense group calls the attention of mass media and human rights organizations to present the many illegalities and absurdities of the case to the public through participation in open hearings.  



Source Panorama.am
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