Armenian Dissident Defects To Azerbaijan

Opposition activist Vahan Martirosian (Source: RFE/RL)
Opposition activist Vahan Martirosian (Source: RFE/RL)

Opposition activist Vahan Martirosian (Source: RFE/RL)

BAKU (RFE/RL)—An Armenian dissident has defected to Azerbaijan in a case that is sure to rankle in Yerevan.

Vahan Martirosian, the head of the non-governmental organization Internal National Liberation Movement, told reporters in Baku on September 18 that he had requested political asylum in Azerbaijan.

He slammed the policies of Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, calling them anti-Armenian, and said Azerbaijani media are the only sources offering “truthful information” about the current situation in Armenia.

Martirosian claimed that he had been persecuted by Armenian authorities for his political activities and therefore decided to defect to Azerbaijan together with his wife and their toddler son.

The Armenian Investigative Committee said on September 17 after reports about Martirosian’s defection started circulating in regional media that Martirosian had been added to a wanted list.

Sona Truzian, an adviser to the Armenian Investigative Committee’s chairman, said that Martirosian was suspected of stealing the equivalent of $4,000 from someone in Yerevan.

Truzian also said that Martirosian had filed a complaint claiming that he and his wife had been attacked by the security personnel of an Armenian lawmaker but never showed up to talk to investigators.

Armenian media outlets reported earlier that Martirosian and his wife were beaten in mid-August by the bodyguards of Mher Sedrakian, a lawmaker representing the ruling Republican Party in parliament.

Azerbaijani lawmaker Novella Cafaroglu said on September 17 that Martirosian arrived in Azerbaijan via Georgia, where he had been since September 4.

It is extremely rare for citizens to defect between Armenia and Azerbaijan, who fought a bloody war two decades ago over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and have remained in conflict ever since.

In March, Azerbaijani officials announced that an ethnic Armenian soldier from Nagorno-Karabakh had crossed over to the Azerbaijani side and asked for political asylum. Nagorno-Karabakh military officials then announced that a soldier had left his post and crossed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory.


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  1. Harutik said:

    This lowlife is the face of the Western funded “political opposition” in Armenia today. Needless to say, American-Armenian “activists” and their Western funded counterparts in Armenia will do their best make excuses for this lowlife. No matter how one looks at this matter, this lowlife, who has been funded by Western money and is needless to say an ardent Russophobe, is a filthy TRAITOR. I don’t care if this lowlife was getting beaten up by President Sargsyan himself on a daily basis (even if he did, he would actually deserve it), he had no right as an Armenian to defect to enemy territory. No excuse! Anyone making any form of excuses for this lowlife is a traitor himself.

  2. Nazo said:

    Yeah everyone is lying what about the Synik governor beating buisnes women in Marriot hotel, what about the mayor bodyguards beating the bodyguard of the president, what about a ministers bodyguard killing a doctor in Harsnakar hotel, what about the same minister bodyguard beating few months ago majority share holder of Armenia airline, all this are fabricated? Come on they might fool the local people in Armenia but not us.

    • Raffi said:

      He was able to choose from 200 countries around the world, he’s an ass hole, period.

  3. serop said:

    More criminal actions by so called lawmakers of Armenia, and now this embarrassing situation where a dissident is forced to flee to azebaijan.. The crimilans & thugs running the Armenia are goingto destroy it..
    Time for action, time to take back control of our nation from these criminals

  4. vartan said:

    well, well there is always VASAKS, in Armenian community and treasonrs will pay heavy price for their actions. one less trash . actually his mother is azeri Armenian , do not expect too much from a zebra.

  5. Zareh Sahakian said:

    Azerbaijan, qualifying as a criminal colony, naturally attracts criminals from all over the world, Armenians included. I can see no other more appropriate venue for criminals to go to. PERFECT! Azerbaijan is welcome to host Armenian criminals.
    Good riddance.

    • Zareh Sahakian said:

      Just a thought…. Mr. Martirosian ought to have a tête-à-tête with Ramil Safarov…if he ever decides he has no more use for his tête any longer.

  6. Random Armenian said:

    Who is this idiot? He’s complaining about corruption in Armenia from Azerbaijan? A country even more corrupt and ruled by a family clan?

  7. Georgek said:

    Is that all you can do? Defect to our worst enemy and sell our country. If you wanted to defect at least you could have defected to ANY other country but not them. Just imagine how much damage you have done to our people and our country. Shame on you

    Just for your information our people and army are much more intelligent and stronger than they are.

  8. Varouj said:

    Very strange, I don’t care what kind of dissident you are and how dissatisfied you arer with the regime why would you go to the most corrupt ruling family in the world (Azerbaijan just earned that distinction) which also is hell-bent on destroying every living Armenian. Either he is a double agent or he wants to be one.

  9. Raffi said:

    He is or a criminal, or an ass hole, in both ways Armenia is better off without these kind of people.

  10. Arto said:

    i don’t get it. OK, let’s say his life was threatened. I have no reason not to believe it. They are more than capable of this in Armenia. But why go to Azerbaijan? Why not stay in Georgia? Why not go to France or the US as a political refugee? Something more here than meets the eye. Just doesn’t make any sense.

  11. Masis said:

    This guy is a true traitor, more despicable than Vassak. If he wants asylum, he can ask about 200 other countries for it. Any one of them, including Turkey, would be a better choice. He can go sit in a Turkish bathhouse with Aliyev and get his relationship orientation modified.

  12. Hannibal barka said:

    Yete zhoghovrde vaktkont e yev chi pashtpanum ir pative uremmn sa kr sharunakvi.otar azger sprants kendani Cher mer azgi vaken e tsuits talis.

  13. Tavit said:

    Vahan Martirosian , an Armenian tavagan, made his parents/family proud of him. What a dirt bag!

  14. edward demian said:

    Who says that all Armenians are smart? This dumshit, can join legions of Armenian dumshits from the past. Like the ones who helped the Turks, or the ones who joined the Communist Party, or the Natzy party. Go figure. Only in Armenia will this looser get his 15 minutes of fame. Before he and his story joins the dumpheap of history.

  15. Ararat said:

    They say dissent is the highest form of patriotism but for an Armenian dissident to flee and seek refuge in the artificial and criminal state of Azerbaijan, a sworn enemy of Armenians worldwide, whose racist leaders call all Armenians as their number one enemies amounts to nothing less than treason and he has to be dealt with accordingly. I am not criticizing his decision to do what he did because the events surrounding his situation that led him to take such drastic action is not known but I am criticizing him for the place he chose to go.

    We must never allow, under any circumstance, our enemies to take advantage of such weak-minded and treasonous Armenians and instead we must hurt and hit our enemies hard wherever we find them and whenever the opportunity presents itself. A true Armenian patriot, under the worst of circumstances, would choose to sacrifice his livelihood instead of giving fuel to the enemy to add to the fire. This is truly a shameful act no matter what the circumstance surrounding this case!