GLENDALE—The leadership of the Armenian Bar Association has been closely following the developments related to the beating-to-death in Yerevan of Dr. Vahe Avetyan, a military hospital top surgeon and Major of the Armenian Armed Forces.
We call upon the authorities entrusted with the administration of criminal justice in the Republic of Armenia to ensure that no one – with respect to whom there is credible basis or probable cause linking such a person to a crime, and especially this crime – is above the law.
All those against whom exists probable cause to suspect they are the perpetrators of the brutality resulting in Dr. Avetyan’s tragic death, and all those against whom exists probable cause to suspect that they are the accomplices, the accessories before or after the fact, or, that they are the co-conspirators of these acts, must be brought to justice and made sure to account for and answer to the people of the Republic of Armenia in a court of competent jurisdiction.
We strongly condemn all prior incidents that disregard human and civil rights of Armenia’s citizens. Those entrenched in the power structure of the Republic of Armenia should neither boldly nor brazenly behave as though the long arm of the law does not or cannot reach them.
Rule of law and respect for the law have been previously ignored by those who espouse and profit from a culture of lawlessness. Our collective complacency in the past has, in part, paved the way for the present tragedy. Armenia and its people are entitled to and deserve a social, economic, and political culture of dignity and lawfulness. Anything less is an affront to the sacrifices and integrity of all those who gave, and give, so much to maintain and enhance our homeland.
Dr. Vahe Avetyan’s death must be the last straw, both for those who flout and diminish the law, and for those who adhere to the concept of fundamental human rights without regard to the title or status that the offender may enjoy in the hierarchy of the Republic of Armenia.
It is time to resist the usurpation of power by those who wreak havoc on civilized society. We call for a fair and impartial investigation. Should such an even-handed inquiry ultimately implicate any member of the National Assembly in the death of Dr. Avetyan, then we call upon the National Assembly to act expeditiously in considering the lifting of protective or legislative immunities. The enemies of Armenia, both foreign and domestic, including reigning oligarchies that appear to operate under the notion that they enjoy absolute power and protection from justice, must be confronted.
Only then would we consider that the senseless death of Major Dr. Vahe Avetyan, a great servant of the Republic of Armenia, will not have been in vain.
Chairman of the Board,
ARMENIAN BAR ASSOCIATION