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Shant Harutyunyan and Friends Sentenced After Lengthy Trial

The “Tseghakron” (Nation-Religion) Party’s leader Shant Harutyunyan and his friends have been found guilty for acts of hooliganism during a November 5, 2013 protest. Both Albert Margaryan and Vahe Mkrtchyan were also found guilty for using violence against a representative of the authorities.

The Judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan sentenced Shant Harutyunyan to 6 years imprisonment, Albert Margaryan also received 6 years, Vahe Mkrtchyan 7 years, Liparit Poghosyan 5 years, Vardan Vardanyan 5 years, Hayk Harutyunyan 4 years 6 months, Alek Poghosyan 4 years, Mkrtich Hovhannisyan 4 years, Armen Hovhannisyan 2 years, Sevak Mnatsakanyan 1 years 6 months, Tigran Petrosyan 1 year, and Misak Mikayelyan was fined fifty times the minimum salary.

Shant Harutyunyan’s son, Shahen Harutyunyan, was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, but the judge determined to conditionally not apply the sentence, instead he set probation for 4 years. 

Political prisoner Shant Harutyunyan’s last speech in court was not about the case at hand, he often spoke about topics directly not related to the case during the many months of the trial. 

Harutyunyan said, that nationalists like him, have fallen into a disgraceful evolution, both positive and negative, because, in line with their political views, they always considered Armenians as an Aryan race and above others, however, they now understand that Armenian values and logic are in a state of degradation. 

According to Harutyunyan, if at one time he did not consider Americans as a race, he now considers them even more of a race, because “the country was created by Englishmen who fought for freedom.” Now Harutyunyan is convinced that a race is not decided by language or even a religion, instead by values.

“Now that I’m criticizing, I ask people not to feel bad. I say that in a secret hope that maybe it will stick to people’s dignity, and I’ll give people something to think about, which may lead us to change,” said Shant Harutyunyan.

In his belief, the ratio between idealists and materialists among Armenians has past all possible borders, and that idealists are so few that the masses do not understand them and there is no longer a mutual understanding between those two groups.

According to Harutyunyan, over time the result is the degradation of logic. “When they say that language is a weapon; language is a form of communication for all normal societies. Saying that language is a weapon, is like saying language is a refrigerator, they are the same thing,” said Shant Harutyunyan.