Human Rights Group Accuses ANM of Taking Advantage of Current Crisis

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The recent terrorist acts against a number of officials are being used by the Armenian National Movement to benefit its own political interests–said Edward Mamikonian–president of the Avantgarde Center for Human Rights Research.

Commenting on the ANM statement calling for the reinstatement of constitutional order–Mamikonian said that actually it means that the party equates itself to state structures.

Mamikonian told Noyan Tapan that the above-mentioned statement is similar to one made by the Security Council of Armenia in 1995 on the alleged plotting of a terrorist act and a coup by Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun leader Vahan Hovhannessian. However–the given accusation was withdrawn from the corpus delicti.

Mamikonian did not rule out that the recent crimes could be committed on other grounds. Only the court is entitled to qualify these crimes as terrorist acts–he said.

Such assessment and calls–according to Mamikonian–are characteristic of the situation of a plotted coup–when one ruling group is trying to eliminate the other.

Mamikonian pointed out that the 1994 murders of Yerevan Mayor Hambartsum Galstian–Chief of the Armenian Railway Hambartsum Ghandilian and former Armenian KGB Chairman Marius Yuzbashian were also used for political aims by the ruling power. But–unlike the present situation–the accusation was not aimed against the other ruling group–but against the opposition–in particular–the ARF-Dashnaktsutiun. And–nobody raised the issue of defending the constitutional order–or the resignation of Interior Minister Vano Siradeghian–National Security Department Chief David Shahnazarian or prime ministers.

Mamikonian does not put it beyond ANM to call for the protection of the constitutional order as a precondition to the announcement of a state of emergency. "If we recall that the events of September 25 1996 entailed acts of mass violence in the absence of a state of emergency–we can easily imagine the tragic consequences of a state of emergency when the executive structures become completely out of control," he added.

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