Armenian Official Applies to PACE to Penalize Moscow Mayor

Zaruhi Postanjyan

STRASBOURG (Arka)—Zaruhi Postanjyan, a member of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, has applied to the PACE leadership to take immediate measures to bring Acting Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin to responsibility for acts of xenophobia and racism and to start investigations on the denigration of Hrachya Harutiunian’s human dignity by the Russian legal system and representatives of medical institutions, who had put Harutiunian in a women’s bathrobe before taking him to court to be viewed by millions on television.

In her open letter to Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, as well as to the heads of a number of PACE structures and the Chairperson of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance Eva Smith, Postanjyan spoke of the violation of the rights of Armenian citizen Hrachya Harutiunian, who was arrested following the 13 July 2013 tragic road accident in Russia. Postanjyan thinks that after the incident, Acting Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin made a statement on the use of discrimination against foreign citizens.

She says that the tragic accident killed 18 people and wounded dozens of people. Hrachya Harutiunian, the driver of the defective truck owned by a private company, also received bodily injuries and was taken to court and arrested immediately without being provided sufficient medical aid. At the moment he is in the hospital of the Matrosskaya Tishina detention unit, she says.

Postanjyan is convinced that no such tragic incident might have occurred if the Russian Federation, a member of the Council of Europe, were not one of the most corrupt countries. And if racism and xenophobia are added to the countrywide corruption in Russia, it becomes obvious that not only the precedence of law, but also the right to life and dignity of the citizens of other nationalities of the multi-ethnic Russian Federation are threatened, Postanjyan stresses.

Zaruhi Postanjyan is also asking her colleagues to urge Russia to take immediate measures to bring Olga Skobeyeva, a reporter on Rossiya-1, to responsibility for her insulting remarks against Hrachya Harutiunian and for her violation of the assumption of innocence, as well as to start investigating the humiliation of Hrachya Harutiunian by the legal and medical officials involved.


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