Public, political, cultural, sports figures issued an announcement in support of Robert Kocharyan

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We exhort the judges to remain true to their constitutional justice mission and to change the precautionary measure of [second President of the Republic of Armenia (RA)] Robert Kocharyan. Several dozens of public, political, cultural, sports figures have issued an announcement to this effect.

The announcement runs as follows:

The brutal pressure on the Armenian judicial system, judges and the Constitutional Court raises deep concerns.

We record with regret that the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, the ruling political force, declaring about the adherence to democratic values, insurance of the independence of the judicial system, exclusion of the political persecution in the country, are in fact driven by completely different motives. National-state interests run counter to narrow personal and political goals.

Obviously, March 1 [2008] case, which is in the trial stage, will not answer the key question: who is guilty for the loss of 10 lives? This is not a case of March 1 but a political persecution against the first president of NKR and the second president of the RA, an ambition of keeping him imprisoned at any cost.

The disregard of the Constitutional Court's corresponding decision by the court of general jurisdiction, which was a gross violation of the nomocracy of our state, not only remained unpunished but was also welcomed by the authorities. All this leaves us with nothing more than to state clearly that President Kocharyan, in essence, is a political prisoner. Moreover, the arrests of the recent days have become a signal that the authorities will not stop at anything to achieve their various goals and are capable of resorting condemnable means of repression.

This illegal process is not just a matter of the reputation of our state; already today it is knocking at the doors of many. With March 1 referral case there are already attempts to discredit also the military and commanders who have made an invaluable contribution to our country's army and security. We are convinced that what is going on, on one hand, will become a subject of condemning assessments of the CHR judgments, international organizations, friendly countries, on the one hand, will continue to split our society.

We, the undersigned, call on the authorities to stop this unconstitutional process and refrain from anti-state activities. We are sure that the release of President Kocharyan will become a signal of uniting and restoring public solidarity. Today Armenia needs justice and inner solidarity more than ever.

We exhort the judges to remain true to their constitutional justice mission and to change the precautionary measure of Robert Kocharyan. Otherwise, the responsibility will be inevitable.

If we do not wake up, the security of the two Armenian states will be in a serious danger.

The statement has been signed by (in [Armenian] alphabetical order):

1. Ara ABRAHAMYAN - Greco-Roman wrestling two time World champion, Olympic Games medalist,

2. Sargis AVETISYAN - Chairman of the Solidarity Party,

3. Manvel BADALYAN - Former Chairman of the RA Civil Service Council, President of the “Center for the Protection of the Value System of Public Service” NGO,

4. Zori BALAYAN - Hero of Artsakh, writer, publicist,

5. Vitali BALASANYAN - Hero of Artsakh, Lieutenant General,

6. Alvard BARKHUDARYAN - Journalist,

7. Yervand BOZOYAN - Political scientist, political commentator at the Politeconomy Research Institute,

8. Vardan BOSTANJYAN - Doctor of Economics, Professor,

9. Zhanna GALSTYAN - Hero of Artsakh, MP of the AR [Artsakh Republic] National Assembly,

10. Arayik Gevorgyan – Three time freestyle wrestling world champion,

11. Gevorg GEVORGYAN - Politician, Artsakh War freedom-fighter,

12. Zhirayr DADASYAN - Artistic Director of Yerevan State Pantomime Theater, RA Distinguished Art Worker,

13. Anushavan DANIELYAN - Former Prime Minister of the NKR,

14. Razmik DAVOYAN - poet, public figure,

15. Ara DEGHTRIKYAN - actor, RA Distinguished Artist,

16. Lilit TUMANYAN - Director of Armnews FM radio company,

17. Andranik TEVANYAN - Director of the Politeconomy Research Institute,

18. Garnik ISAGULYAN - Chairman of the National Security Party,

19. Ruben HAKOBYAN - Director of Akunk Center for political analyses,

20. Aram HARUTYUNYAN - Chairman of the National Consent Party,

21. David HARUTYUNYAN - Director of the Luys Foundation, former RA Minister of Justice,

22. Khosrov HARUTYUNYAN - Chairman of CDU of Armenia, RA former Prime Minister, RA former President of RA,

23. Hrachya HARUTYUNYAN - Actor, Laureate of the RA State Prize, RA Distinguished Artist,

24. Spartak GHARABAKHTSYAN - President of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Association Foundation, writer, publicist,

25. Mihrdat MADATYAN - scientist-psychologist,

26. Aleksandr MANASYAN - Corresponding Member of the RA NAS, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor,

27. Robert MELKONYAN - Member of the VETO Initiative,

28. Ashot MINASYAN - freedom fighter, statesman,

29. Ogsen MIRZOYAN - Weightlifter, Olympic champion,

30. Davit SHAHNAZARYAN - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, 1992-95 Ambassador-at-Large of the RA President, 1994-95 Head of the RA NSS [National Security Service],

31. Davit SAHAKYANTS - Director-animator, RA Distinguished Culture Worker,

32. Alvard PETROSYAN - writer, publicist, RA Distinguished Culture Worker,

33. Georgi POGHOSYAN - Doctor, Associate Professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi,

34. Aghvan VARDANYAN - Politician,

35. Meruzhan TER-GULANYAN - writer, publicist,

36. Konstantin TER-NAKALYAN - Editor-in-Chief of BlogNews.

The announcement is open for signature.

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