Munich Based Group Calls for Markarian Release

The administration of the Armenian Research Institute in Munich sent the following letter to Levon Ter-Petrosyan–requesting the immediate release of so-called "Dro" trial defendant Hrant Markarian..

The sustenance of Armenian independence–democracy and security are of utmost importance to the Armenian nation–thus national peace and the undertaking of national unity are prerequisites to this mission.

We do not doubt that you are well aware of the necessity to establish national harmony–and it is for this exact reason that we are deeply concerned with the polarization of Armenian political forces in Armenia for the past two to three years.

It is evident that the situation at hand can be rectified if the parties involved demonstrate the willingness for mutual compromise in the name of Armenia’s national interests and aspirations. All things considered–you possess the leverage to impose national political understanding and harmony–the immediate implementation of which is your moral responsibility.

The first practical step toward this resolution would be the release from prison of Karabakh freedom fighter Hrant Markarian–whose continued incarceration could lead to serious damage to the government’s future political activities–the success of which is dependent on a national fostering of those policies.

We do not deem it unnecessary to remind you–Mr. President–that in late 1911–a special commission of the Russian State Duma in St. Petersburg conducted the ARF trial–for which 160 Armenian intellectuals and Armenian Revolutionary Federation members were called to task. Among the accused were Avedis Aharonian–Hamo Ohanjanian–Sarkis Magatzian–national hero Sarpaz Khecho and others.

In the beginning of 1912–52 of the defendants were sentenced to short prison terms–and only four were exiled to Siberia. However–on the eve of the war–all of the Armenian revolutionaries were released–and under the command of Gen. Antranig–formed the Armenian voluntary corps–which brought miracles to the battlefield.

We are confident that you will view this appeal as a call for national political cooperation.

Dr. E. Hovanessian–Director Munich–August 13–1997

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