Monday, December 01, 2008

Banditocracy and Political Prisoners.

While the rest of the Christian world is gearing up for the Christmas season, the banditocracy in Armenia is still adamant in its efforts to put people with differing political views in jail. There are still 80+ political prisoners in jail in Armenia. One of them is Ahot Manukian. Mr. Manukyan's alleged crimes are: throwing a rock at an officer (who testified that there was no pain or injury) and giving bus money to citizens to attend a peaceful protest. Under this sentence, he will be almost 70 years old when he leaves prison.

Meanwhile, instead of demanding justice for real leaders and a sustainable country, the Diaspora gets behind a telethon to raise aid money for Armenia: Money that will invariably be stolen, wasted, and used to support the corrupt officials who engender a poor, dependent Armenia.

Time line.

November 27: Prosecution recommends a 6 year sentence. Trial set to resume December 5th.

November 20: Political Prisoners on hunger strike. Trial postponed indefinitely.

November 13: Trial delayed until November 20th

November 7: Trial delayed until November 13th

November 3: Trial delayed until November 7th.

October 29: Defense attorney calls in sick, trial postponed until November 3rd.

October 23: Trial postponed until October 29th.

October 15: The defendant is also charged with organizing an unauthorized illegal public demonstration. The court heard testimony from one witness, an individual who had previously pled guilty to a crime relating to the March 1 incident. He had received a suspended sentence for his own conviction. In a series of investigation statements (before trial) the witness stated that he had received approximately $60 from the defendant and that the witness had used the money to bus people into Yerevan for the unauthorized demonstrations at the direction of the defendant. At the trial the witness stated that he had received money from the defendant as part of LTP's campaign, but that the defendant never directed him to use the money for the demonstrations. Unfortunately, the judges in Armenia often base guilty verdicts on pre-trial investigation statements even where the witness comes into court and recants on his prior statement. The court was to hear from two other witnesses. One failed to show up and the other is incarcerated. The court is attempting to bring the incarcerated witness to the trial. The defense counsel made a motion to release Mr. Manukyan but the court denied the motion. The trial to resume Oct. 23.

October 6: Trial postponed at the last minute due to lack of prosecution witnesses.

September 17: Two witnesses testified – both police officers. One testified as the "victim" and the other as a "witness". Per a US official who attended the trial: "The bad news is that this case clearly demonstrates, even assuming that the defendant is completely guilty, that the authorities are out to get him. He took part in the demonstration and he (allegedly) threw a rock that hit a cop in the foot. Minimal injury at worst. This is really no big deal".

September 9: The defense attorney made a motion to disqualify the two prosecutors working on the case. That motion was denied by the judge. The case is moved to the higher felony and adjourned to Sept. 17 to hear from the victim / police officer.

July 29: The prosecutor seeks an adjournment to upgrade the charges to more serious felonies, punishable by 5 to 10 years imprisonment. At the prosecutor's request the court adjourned the case for four weeks.

July 15: After 4 months in 'pre-detention', a trial date is finally scheduled. The court date is later canceled at the last minute due to lack of witnesses.

March 1: Ashot Manukyan is beaten and arrested at dawn after 11 days of peaceful protest of a corrupt election. He is taken to Nubarashen detention center and not allowed to see his family for over a month – until his wounds heal.


Anonymous said...

Dear friend, perhaps you have not got the latest news on A. Arzumanians phone tap.

I advise you to revise, reconsider and change your opinion now, before you become a part of Socialist revolution of Mr. Levon Ter-Petrosian.

Peace, and love be with you.

nazarian said...

What does Arzumanian's phone call have to do with Ashot Manukian being imprisoned on political grounds?

Ani said...

Their names both begin with A??

I love it when Stalin's leftovers come by to chat. They always give "orders" and "advice." Perhaps they should all get some new calendars for Christmas, so they'll know what year and century it is...

Anonymous said...

Levonakanautyun should be TOTALLY uprooted from Armenia. I seriously mean this as a concerned Armenian. For me, Levon Ter Petrosyan is a menace to Armenian sovereignity and independence and thank God that the authorities have given a severe blow to his mafia. I don't think they can ever recover from it again.

My heart just aches, for the naive ones who went to jail because of one man's arrogance and desire for money and power. But the real criminals like Alik Arzumanian should get life imprisonment, for the harm they caused to Yerevan and Armenia.

parisan said...

//the Diaspora gets behind a telethon to raise aid money for Armenia//

That's the easy, feel-good approach to their only problem: How to remain involved with Armenia, without having to really bother about it or take any risk.

//Money that will invariably be stolen, wasted, and used to support the corrupt officials who engender a poor, dependent Armenia.//

Indeed, but that's also good, because it means that everything is cheap enough for any summer visitor to buy anything they want in Armenia, including land that's sold for pennies by the officials who get nice kickbacks in return.

Of course, the man who threw a stone to protest against the betrayal of the Armenians posing as police officers, that man deserves to stay in jail until he's 70!

Bandits are in power. They wear the uniforms, the nice suits and their silly ties. They control the TV and the money made at the borders and at the banks. These parasites are destroying Armenia, but they don't care, because they are rotten to the core, and nothing matters to them but the next BJ they can get from a lost soul.

tzitzernak2 said...

I appreciate the peaceful and loving tone of the first Anonymous. I really do, especially given the hatred and foul mouthed tone of some in this ongoing situation.
However, I dont quite understand how someone so apparently rooted in love and peace can ignore the hatred and bullets, corruption, beatings, imprisonment and overall injustice and oppression that the "government" has unleashed and continues to unleash against the people of Armenia.

Ani said...

Tzitzernak, I recognize the voice of the first Anonymous (and also Anon. no. 2, the "Concerned Armenian," who writes often in ArmeniaNow comments). The voice of Anon. no. 1 is the voice of the "friendly visit," a voice meant to chill, to advise caution, to shut down discussion, and to constipate. I call it out whenever I hear it because it's more subtle and thus more dangerous--it's like the voice of Hans Christian Anderson's Snow Queen, who seems friendly only to ensnare the unwary.