Russian Intellectuals Call for Justice in Vahan Hovanessian’s Case

(Hayots Ashkhar)–In a letter addressed to Levon Ter-Petrosyan–a group of renowned Russian intellectuals of the Moscow State University–including–V.A. Lazarev–I. Mineralova–V.A. Surganov and L. Zangovagaya–asked for fairness and justice in the "Trial of 31," specifically however–for Armenian Revolutionary Federation leader Vahan Hovanessian.

In the letter the intellectuals of the University–where Hovanessian has received his higher education–called the leader an intellectual with an open mind and virtuous qualities.

"It is therefore–that the charges ascribed to him are absurd," said the statement.

The academics went on to explain that they found Hovanessian’s arrest and the preceding ban of the ARF in Armenia a hurtful fact–because according to them–in the former Soviet Union Armenia was considered a catalyst for democratic movemen’s.

The writers reminded Ter-Petrosyan of his role in the initiation of the Karabakh movement–and called on him to remember those days–because it was then–according to them–that the true spirit of Armenian freedom was demonstrated. They also reminded him that it was during those days when the students at the University supported the Karabakh struggle and the actions of the Karabakh Committee.

The letter urged Ter-Petrosyan to stand up to the Armenian spirit and tradition and to be true to Armenian history. "We are confident that Armenia will not turn into a police state–and the political leaders will do everything to protect the freedom of the Armenian people," continued the letter.

In conclusion the intellectuals said that Hovanessian and his co-defendants had become the victims of their political foes–and they urged Ter-Petrosyan to ensure that a just outcome would be at the conclusion of the trial–because they said–"such an outcome would not only be a fair end for the defendants–but a healthy event for your wonderful republic."

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