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Armenian Ombudsman Missing the Point on March 1st, says MP Aram Manukyan

The country can have no sector that is in great condition, when all other sectors are in a poor one, we need to have a comprehensive approach to this, said Armenian National Congress (HAK) MP Aram Manukyan in Parliament yesterday during discussions about Human Rights Defender, Karen Andreasyan’s report. Manukyan began his speech by expressing his dissatisfaction that Andreasyan was not present in Parliament to listen to MP’s remarks; he later stated that the Human Rights Defender cannot be against the system, or bring an entire system into order.

Nevertheless, he noted, that there were very positive excerpts in the report, and that the Ombudsman had done a very meticulous work. Meanwhile, Manukyan brought up an important issue that, according to him, should have been a priority in the report.

He meant the “Case of March 1”; Andreasyan had written in his report that for 6 years there has been no registered progress, the rights of the successors of those dead have blatantly been violated, and that effective means need to be taken in order to speedily resolve this case.

“This is absolutely not a solution. Here it is not a deadline that is the issue but the revelation,” noted Manukyan.

According to the latter, the relatives of those who died and were victims on March 1st do not believe in justice; some parents of those killed have passed away and some have left the country, while the case is still not revealed.

Manukyan reminded that former Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan stated that everything has already been discovered, which, according to the MP, is a shameful lie.

“The March 1st incidents needed to be the main points of Ombudsman’s report, because similar criminal acts and slaughters have not taken place in recent years. This is also a test for the Ombudsmans’ office,” said the MP.

Manukyan concluded his speech by stressing that the Ombudsman’s report has positive excerpts, however, the human rights system is in a poor condition, and has political motives and is dependent on the ruling authority’s policies.

Recall, that on March 1st, 2008, early in the morning, police violently dispersed an opposition camp site in Freedom Square. After the Presidential elections on February 19, 2008, there were 10 days of peaceful protests at Freedom Square. On March 1st, protesters gathered on Grigor Lusavorich St. for many hours. During the evening hours, the protesters were shot at. 10 people were murdered: 2 police officers and 8 citizens. Until this day, no one has been accused or tried for the March 1st deaths.