International Organizations Recognize Political Prisoners

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Since the parliamentary elections in 1995–in order to veil blatant violations at the polls–and in order to diverge public attention and foreign state inquiries on the real executors of a purported coup–it has become a tradition to reveal so-called terrorists and individuals purportedly involved in coups," read a statement by the public council of the September 96 and Political Prisoners organization.

"Under current situation the authorities must…stop trials–which are blatant fabrications bythe leadership–they must release political prisoners and hold responsible those who turned the election into a political farce," the document said.

The organization admitted that they will consider it their moral and civic duty "to demand suspension of Armenia’s crediting and membership to the Council of Europe unless firm guarantees are given to stabilize the internal situation fairly–and to free political prisoners who are held unjustly."

At a press conference Thursday–the Council’s secretary Rouben Torossian said that during a meeting with international organizations operating in Armenia it became clear that their representatives admit to the existence of political prisoners in Armenia.

Torossian criticized those international organizations which "promote anti-democratic policies" by giving gran’s to pro-governmental organizations.

According to Council’s Chairman Rafael Ghazarian–the Sept. 25–1996 events were organized by the authorities–in particular the "law enforcement agencies."

He voiced concern that neither the prosecutor general–nor the courts instituted proceedings on facts of tortures in relation to detained persons.

Attorney Tigran Janoyan emphasized that during a meeting between newly appointed Prosecutor General Henrik Khachatrian and attorneys–the Prosecutor agreed that there are many disputable facts in the charges on article 74 of Armenia’s Criminal Code on "mass disorders."

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