Politics 11:15 29/03/2024 Armenia

Political prisoner Narek Samsonyan addresses open letter-inquiry to U.S. ambassador

Chairman of Civic Consciousness NGO, founder of AntiFake.am media outlet, political prisoner Narek Samsonyan wrote an open letter-inquiry to U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Kristina Kvien from the Armavir State Penitentiary. The letter published by AntiFake is provided below.

"Madame Ambassador, I am writing to you from Armavir State Penitentiary of the “Bastion of Democracy”. I assume, you are aware that the authorities of the Republic of Armenia imprisoned my friend Vazgen Saghatelyan and me, the co-authors of the “Imnemnimi” podcast for two months exclusively for media activities. I won’t go into detail of the case; presumably you are already familiar with it.

The main reason I am writing an open letter to you is to get answers to several major questions important to a large segment of the public and me, as well; it can be open to the public or private.

Madame Ambassador, on February 22 during a fundraising event in San Francisco, the US President Joe Biden addressing Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, literally said "that crazy son of a bitch". This definition of President Biden was heard and read by the whole world, or, to be honest, billions of people. President Trump was no less "eloquent" than President Biden, who was also known for publicly insulting his opponents. A few more examples from the vocabulary of your previous president; "stupid son of a bitch", "dumb son of a bitch", "sleeping son of a bitch", "fuck you son of a bitch", "that bitch", etc.

Now, Madame Ambassador, we are not presidents of the country, nor do we have five percent of the level of interest that your Presidents had, and we have been free with our media activities to say the exact same thing about the de facto ruler of our country to our narrow audience that your incumbent President said to the president of the Russian Federation in front of a wide audience; billions of people heard him. And because of this we are imprisoned now in the “Bastion of Democracy”. By the way, it’s stated in the accusation text exactly as follows- “…they cursed the Prime Minister and government officials of the country…”. Now, it turns out that for the ruler of the “Bastion of Democracy”, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Vazgen and I are hooligans. Taking into account the obvious difference in audience sizes, according to the Pashinyan regime, your Presidents are even more dangerous hooligans. Based on the foregoing, my first question, Madame Ambassador: Do you also think what we have done was an act of hooliganism? If not, then what are you going to do about that? Let me narrate my next question. As a result of the spread of social media in the last decade, new media products have come to replace traditional media platforms. Among them, one of the most popular ones is the Podcast format, which implies a more direct and longer interaction with the audience. Parallel to the above (according to specialists), the development of the same social media has led to the popularization of politics, and as a result, the political dialectics experienced a qualitative regression all over the world. As a result of the popularization of politics, the individuals engaged in politics (especially those in power) were constrained with a higher degree of tolerance, and in democracies, especially in the "Bastion of Democracy", the degree of tolerance should be even higher. Now, Vazgen and I, media practitioners, whose podcast has been aired for a year, with about 90 episodes and with more than 100 guests, have been imprisoned for two months for calling the government officials and the Prime Minister himself "son of a bitch". Let me formulate my question. Madam Ambassador, which type of administration is characterized by such permissiveness? Do you think this behavior is typical of democracy or steadily developing authoritarianism? What is your assessment?

Let me formulate yet my final question, Madame Ambassador. Have you watched the footage of my arrest (if not, we will definitely provide it with USB flash drive when forwarding my letter to you)? If so, I would like to ask you to answer the following; if, for example, in any of your geopolitical rival countries, a media figure was taken into custody in similar way, how would you react? I assume, his wife would have been given a reception at the White House. What is the reason for your stony silence in our case?  Don’t you think that this might be the reason why the values and ideological component of liberal democracy has been facing a total fiasco for the last two decades.

P.S. I am not sure that all these questions would be answered in the same way. Anyway, I’m writing this for the history.

From Armavir State Penitentiary of the “Bastion of Democracy”,

Truly Yours,

Narek Samsonyan, the Political Prisoner, Co-author of “Imnemnimi Podcast”

27.03.2024".



Source Panorama.am
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