[07:50 pm] 31 October, 2006

Today a group of journalists and NGOs issued an announcement in
protection of Arman Babajanyan, editor-in-chief of "Yerevan Time"

"The violations against the media representatives on the eve of the
elections give ground for serious concerns.

We view the verdict brought in connection with Arman Babajanyan's
case within the framework of these violations and encroachments.

The verdict was unprecedented due to its seriousness and is
rather harsh; it doesn't go in line with the committed crime and
its consequences. The verdict could have been milder taking into
consideration the existing facts.

Besides, there was certain discrimination against the editor of
"Yerevan Time" and the law on "citizens escaping from compulsory
military service via and breeching the fixed order" was ignored. Under
the above-mentioned law, any 27-year-old citizen escaping from
compulsory military service can get identification card in case he
pays the required money and avoid punishment.

Taking into account all the above-mentioned points, we can assume
that Arman Babajanyan's arrest was more connected with his work and
political orientation.

Arman Babajanyan has appealed to the corresponding body dealing with
the issues of 27-year-old citizens who escaped from military service
from 1992-2005 with the request to apply the law in his case.

We join the announcement asking the Court of First Instance to
re-view the verdict and to apply the above-mentioned law in Arman
Babajanyan's case.

Nikol Pashinyan, "Yerevan Time"

Gegham Nazaryan, "Hayk"

Shogher Matevosyan, "The Forth Power"

Vardan Haroutyunyan, advocate

Boris Navasardyan

Mesrop Haroutyunyan

Ashot Melikyan

Edik Baghdasaryan, "Investigative Journalists" NGO

Karen Hakobyan, "Hope" NGO

Seda Melikyan, "Spiritual Armenia" NGO

Lala Aslikyan, "Hope" NGO

Michael Danielyan, "Helsinki Assosiacion"

Zara Postanjyan, advocate

Ahot Atoyan, advocate