ARF Won’t Ask Reparations From Former Regime

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Today the Armenian Revolutionary has come to deliver its word not from abroad–not from behind bars–but from the capital of Armenia–Yerevan," ARF member Edward Hovanessian said–at an ARF rally late last week.

"The ARF has come to say that it is a national party–that the national ideology and the nation are not null and that the ARF is going to struggle for social and economic justice."

"The ARF is a revolutionary party," Hovanessian continued–"and if the legislature prevents us from attaining national and social goals–then the ARF will make an attempt to change the laws and the disgraceful constitution."

"Our country has a popularly elected a parliament and we should try to change the current basic law. If we fail to do so–the ARF still has the option of evading the law in order to save the nation," Hovanessian concluded.

"Trial of 31" public defender Bagrat Yesayan said that the three-year period of illegal persecutions against the ARF and its members had come to an end with the release of Hrant Markarian–Vahan Hovanessian–Manuel Yeghiazarian and other prisoners. Yesayan said the conduct of politicians who strongly opposed the illegal arrest of the above-mentioned persons during the last presidential election and now challenge their release as illegal was unclear to him.

ARF Executive Council of Armenian member Hrayr Karapetian said that whoever comes to power must reinstate the rights of the ARF and release all political prisoners–"otherwise he will be little distinct from Levon Ter-Petrosyan." Karapetian stressed that the ARF offers its support to Acting President and Prime Minister Robert Kocharian in the March 16. Karapetian urged the public to be cautious and distinguish the ARF from another unofficial ARF which is supporting Karen Demirchian. Karapetian reaffirmed that the ARF has endorsed Kocharian.

ARF Executive Council of Armenia member Vahan Hovanessian said that despite the fact that former authorities had suspended the activities of the party and tried its members–"Ter-Petrosyan is leading an easy life now and no one will dare commit any illegal act against any former official. In the name of law and justice–we will not seek revenge."

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