Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan gave a lecture at Columbia University in New York on September 24. During the lecture someone in the audience reminded the President of political prisoners in Armenia. As shown on the post video on Youtube.com and livestream.com, Serzh Sargsyan asked the audience member not to interrept him and tried to answer a question asked earlier about Armenian foreign policy.
“That is a lie, please don’t interrupt me,” said Sargsyan addressing the person reminding the issue of political prisoners, but continued surprised, “Political prisoners? In Azerbaijan? In Armenia? You are very much mistaken. You don’t have information and there are no political prisoners in Armenia.” When Shant Harutyunyan’s http://www.epress.am/en/2013/11/05/clashes-in-central-yerevan-dozens-detained.html name was referred to, Sargsyan claimed that Harutyunyan had performed a criminal act.
“If in the United States, someone perpetrated an act of hooliganism, won’t that person be addressed?” responded Sargsyan.
Sargsyan justified to the audience the nature of the question as a commonality due to the uniqueness of Armenians in such settings. Then he continued by noticing and stated that “this (the USA) is a free country” and that anybody can express their opinion, in accordance to their knowledge, education, and family values.
Watch whole lecture here (incident after 1:05:33)