Armenian Writers Criticize Union President

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"We do not share Hrant Matevossian’s admiration of Vano Siradeghian and remember those heavy years when he–Levon Ter-Petrosyan and others were ruling the country," members of the Union of Writers told journalists Tuesday.

A statement issued by them reads: "Vano Siradeghian is accused of a heavy crime. Whether those accusations are true or not–Mr. Matevossian is not in a position to interfere with the course of the investigation with such statemen’s. As a friend of Siradeghian–Matevossian could have taken measures to defend him–but he had no right to rise as a chairman of the Union of Writers and speak on behalf of the Armenian writers."

Noting that he has always been an admirer of Vano Siradeghian’s writing talent–literary critic Garnik Ananian reminded those present that when member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–prosaist Roland Sharoyan was arrested on political grounds–Hrant Matevossian refused to address a letter to the authorities in order to show a more careful attitude towards the writer. Matevossian had considered it to be the business of law enforcement agencies and that writers could not interfere. "However–today when the danger of arrest emerged before another prosaist–the chairman of the Union of Writers has taken alarm," he noted. According to Ananian–the Union must not support Vano Siradeghian.

Writer and translator Samvel Mkrtichian was one of 16 member of the Union who signed Matevossian’s letter in support of Vano Siradeghian. Mkrtichian noted that if Siradeghian was guilty–he must be punished. However–"as a writer I believe it to be my duty to defend an outcast writer of the society."

According to Artashes Yavrian–writers are not in a position to defend a person accused of crimes. Yavrian said that they simply should keep away from business not related with them. He said that this incident served as a ground for writers to demand the convocation of a congress–during which all problems worrying writers should be solved.

The majority of writers–attending the conference condemned Vano Siradeghian and Hrant Matevossian.

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