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Not Exposing March 1st Makes Armenia Vulnerable In the International Arena

The March 1st case has been revealed a long time ago and only needs to be made public, however in that case it might turn out that some people in the ruling authorities had played their part in the criminal act, said coordinator of the “March 1st” NGO Arakel Semirjyan at a Media Center discussion today, February 27.

“The killers have been identified, those who gave the command have been identified, all the murders have been discovered. In world history there has been no case where a murder occurs with thousands of witnesses, and is left, let's say, unexposed,” said Semirjyan. He added that in addition to the thousands of eyewitnesses to the incidents, there are hundreds of photos and videos, based on which an investigation should have been launched a long time ago. 

The speaker noted that testimonies have also been given by 500 injured people, who claimed that they had seen who shot at them, however an investigation has not not been launched.

According to Semirjyan, today the prosecutors are attempting to assort the crime accordiong to the types of guns the people were killed with. Gor Kloyan, Armen Farmanyan, and Tigran Khachatryan were killed by a “Cheryomukha 7″ riot gun, which was only held by police officers, therefore there is no issue in exposing or investigating this particular incident, said the NGO coordinator.

“We have 4 people, who have shot from a “Cheryomukha” and what’s left is to expose who made the killing shots,” said Semirjyan, adding that a judicial process must begin in order to expose the murders, where the 4 people (potential shooters) should testify and it would subsequently become clear who the murderer or murderers are.

Semirjyan stated that the Armenian ruling authorities need to understand that exposing March 1st is beneficial, firstly for them, because the way they behave toward March 1st is the same way international community behaves toward Armenia. “If Armenia is raising an issue of violations by Azerbaijan, then the international community can say ‘you can't even find your murderers, how can we find Azerbaijani murderers'. The March 1st issue makes Armenia vulnerable in the international arena,” concluded Semirjyan.

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. Photos and videos have been released of the March 1st incident which clearly proves that the actions against the opposition was by the armed forces.