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Armenian NGOs adopt statement about the acts of intimidation towards

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  • Armenian NGOs adopt statement about the acts of intimidation towards

    Armenian NGOs adopt statement about the acts of intimidation towards
    Armenian civic activists

    by Emmanuil Lazarian

    Saturday, September 7, 16:06

    Over 30 Armenian NGOs have adopted a statement about the acts of
    intimidation towards Armenian civic activists.

    The statement says, "On September 5, 2013 around 22:10-22:20, in the
    neighborhood of Koghbatsi Street of Yerevan, a few steps away from the
    RA State Revenue Committee, near his garage Haykak Arshamyan, Project
    Coordinator of Yerevan Press Club, and Suren Saghatelyan, Board member
    of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, were brutally
    attacked by 6-7 unknown men. Haykak Arshamyan and Suren Saghatelyan
    were hospitalized with severe injuries, contusion and fractures. The
    two civic activists are public figures and carry out their social
    activities within a legal framework.

    Yerevan Press Club and Transparency International Anti-Corruption
    Center are actively involved in the activities of the Eastern
    Partnership Civil Society Forum. Haykak Arshamyan during the last two
    days largely participated in the civic protests against the
    announcement made by Serzh Sargsyan in Moscow regarding Armenia's
    decision to join the Customs Union, which took place in front of the
    RA presidential residence and the headquarters of the Republican Party
    of Armenia.

    We, the undersigned, assess the attack as an act of intimidation aimed
    at all those, who have raised a voice of protest against the Armenian
    authorities, including NGOs, independent media, public figures and
    active citizens. We consider this to be a consequence of the
    prevailing climate of impunity in Armenia, human rights violations,
    selective law enforcement, the usual practice of political
    prosecution, the manifestation of which we have also witnessed during
    the recent days, as repressions were used against activists protesting
    the controversial construction work at Komitas Street 5 and in front
    of the Yerevan municipality.

    We declare that the full responsibility for this act of intimidation
    falls on the authorities of Armenia, particularly the law enforcement
    bodies. If this crime is not solved as soon as possible, it will allow
    us to declare that this act of violence is directly sponsored by the
    Armenian authorities.

    We urge the civil society and all the free citizens to remain strong,
    not to retreat before the hired thugs and their patrons, to continue
    the struggle for their personal rights and freedoms.

    As of now the statement is signed by: "Asparez" Journalists' Club,
    Yerevan Press Club, "Protection Of Consumers' Rights" NGO, Eurasia
    Partnership Foundation, Media Initiatives Center (Formerly Internews
    Armenia), Open Society Foundations-Armenia, Media Diversity
    Institute-Armenia, "Shirak Center" NGO, "We Plus" NGO, "Arena For
    Education" NGO, Martuni Women's Community Council NGO, Armenian
    Helsinki Committee, "Trtu" NGO, Urban Foundation For Sustainable
    Development, "Victims Of State Needs" NGO, National Citizen's
    Initiative NGO, Civic Initiatives Support Center NGO, Children's
    Support Foundation, Civic Forum NGO, Regional Studies Center NGO,
    Committee To Protect Freedom Of Expression, "Democracy And Electoral
    Processes" NGO, "Farmers' Movement" NGO, Vanadzor Branch Of Helsinki
    Citizens Assembly, Protection Of Rights Without Borders, Harmonic
    Society - Armenian Association Of Social Workers, "Rule Of Law" NGO,
    Urbanlab Yerevan Architect's Lab, Women's' Resource Center, Social And
    Cultural Innovation Lab Charitable Foundation (Skilfound), "Free
    University" Foundation, "Khoranard" Intellectual Center, "Biosophia"
    Health, Environmental And Agriculture, Development Center, Shirak
    Branch Of Sakharov Armenian Center, For Human Rights Protection,
    "Journalists For The Future" NGO

    The statement is open for signatures.■487E10-17B5-11E3-9C1B0EB7C0D21663