Twenty-two individuals and representatives of NGOs operating in Armenia have issued an appeal to several UN and Council of Europe representatives to express their concern regarding persecutions in Armenia based on political views. Signatories of the letter disseminated by Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center particularly ask UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Thorbjørn Jagland, Commissioner for Human Rights of the CoE Nils Muižnieks, among others to take action towards a fair investigation of the criminal case against opposition activists and the release of political prisoner Tigran Arakelyan.
Outlining the details of the case against Arakelyan and 3 other young activists of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), the signatories state that neither law enforcement bodies nor the court "conducted a proper, thorough and comprehensive investigation, ignoring numerous testimonies and statements about torture."
"The criminal case against the activists is currently being appealed in court. Tigran Arakelyan has been in custody since the day of the incident and the numerous petitions submitted by his attorneys, as well as the pledge by 110 citizens on September 18, 2013 were consistently rejected by the Court.
"Being a member of the UN and the CoE and the power of the RA Constitution, Armenia bears the obligation to implement the requirements of adopted by these institutions and their adjacent bodies and to adhere to the international principles on the protection of human rights. Nevertheless, to date the actions by the RA Law Enforcement Bodies and decrees by the courts influenced by those bodies regarding ANC activists have breached human rights and fundamental freedoms, resulting in violation of a number of international obligations of the Republic of Armenia. Particularly, T.Arakelyan incarceration is clearly connected with his being an opposition activist, which has been justified by police testimony as well. The other 3 activists face the threat of becoming political prisoners if the appeal is not satisfied in future and the court decree comes into force.
"We appeal to the international and European intergovernmental organizations and institutions concerned with human rights issues, requesting their interference to demand that the authorities of the Republic of Armenia carry out the international human rights obligations and immediately release political prisoner Tigran Arakelyan and drop the criminal case against Tigran Arakelyan, Artak Karapetyan, Sargis Gevorgyan, and Davit Kiramijyan," reads the letter, in part.