Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Open Letter from the Wives, Mothers, and Sisters of Victims of Political Persecution in Connection with the 2008 Armenian Presidential Election

Hetq.am [March 24, 2008]

We are writing this letter as the wives, mothers, and sisters of those citizens of the Republic of Armenia who have been subjected to illegal measures by the authorities in connection with the February 19, 2008 presidential election, during the pre-election process, at the time of the election, and in the days since then.

These measures include violence, brutality, kidnapping, unlawful detention, home searches without any legal justification accompanied by extensive damage to property, and the arrests of our husbands, sons, and brothers, almost all on similar charges: “Criminal actions against the state with the aim of overthrowing the government.”

We believe that these arrests have been purely political in nature, given that the detainees are members of political parties, proxies of opposition candidates, or participants in the peaceful demonstrations held by the democratic opposition.

The measures taken by the authorities are in contradiction to national law and are incompatible with international norms and obligations undertaken by the Armenian Government. They are acts of political persecution aimed at destroying democratic opposition, and as such represent a gross violation of human rights.

We call upon the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the United States of America to organize an independent and impartial investigation of all of the cases connected with the February 19 presidential election, including both the killing of innocent people and the arrests of our family members. Finally, we note with alarm that these arrests are continuing to this day.

With respect and in hope of support,

[signatures - full list here]

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