Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Political prisoners.

It is a known fact that during the Stalin years there were no political prisoners. Every single one of them, who was charged, were charged with criminal offenses.

Armenia is determined not to have any political prisoners. There are two ways of doing it:
1. Do not imprison people for their political views and let them think whatever they want; or
2. Charge political prisoners with criminal offenses just like the Stalinist system.

It's not an Earth shuttering prediction that Armenia has chosen option number two. As a prelude, here is a very cynical quote from Avet Adons, the head of the Armenian representation at PACE:
Adonts admitted that there is a sense of concern among Strasbourg officials over the possible presence of political prisoners in Armenia. “But we will do everything to prove [that there are no such] so as to dispel these concerns,” Adonts said. “There mustn’t and won’t be political prisoners in Armenia… If no crime was committed, they will be released.” Source: Radio Liberty article here.
I don't know how much the PACE will like to be treated like idiots after they called for the release of all the prisoners who have not committed crimes. They should have studied the Armenian reality a little bit before saying things like that. Armenia has become a place where saying the word 'Levon' is a cause for a beating by police, or at least a detention for a few hours. Even reading a book can result in a detention or a beating.

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