ARF Artsakh Deman’s Investigation into Manukian Beating Incident

STEPANAKERT–The Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Artsakh released additional details about the beating of Pavel Manukian by Mountainous Karabagh Republic authorities–and demanded that those guilty of the crime be punished according to the law.

"Pavel Manukian–a candidate running for MKR National Assembly–remains in stable condition–after being beaten on June 21 in MKR’s Defense Ministry offices." The ARF press release states that Manukian has been transferred from the critical care unit to the regular section of the hospital–though he suffers severe headaches.

Manukian’s wife has asked that he be transferred to a hospital in Yerevan–but the request has been denied by a military judge–who cited the unstable condition of the patient.

Mrs. Manukian on Wednesday filed a plea in MKR Superior Court–for a criminal investigation into the beating incident–directly implicating MKR Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and his deputy Samuel Garabedian in the beating. She also named generals A. Haroutunian–V. Balayan–and M. Hagopian as participants.

Manukian’s fiery speeches during election campaigning evidently prompted the beating. Manukian–a prominent participant of the war with Azerbaijan–bashed the meddling of the commanders of MKR’s army in the electoral process–accusing them of voter intimidation and coercion.

In a declaration to various political parties in Karabagh–the ARF and Movement 88 parties stated on Wednesday–"We view the severe beating of the candidate for National Assembly in the offices of the Defense Ministry–as a grave crime–one that landed him in the military hospital with life threatening injuries. The fact that this act–organized by the country’s military sector–has been overlooked by the legal entities–and that no criminal investigation has been launched–allows us to question the authority of the country’s legal sector–as well as the public’s faith in it.

"We view the freedom of expression as one of the most valuable of democratic principles. Political forces reject coercion–as well as the insolent trampling of the human honor and dignity–acts which can lead to civil unrest–and ultimately cause instability in the country.

"We find that the only correct direction for the president of our country to take–is to strive to implement all means to maintain lawfulness–in order to ensure internal accord–to have a handle political ?excesses,’ and to not compromise our unrecognized country’s international standing."

With plans to release their own statement–the Artsakh Democratic Party and Free Homeland party refused to sign the declaration.

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