AKHALKALAK, Javakhk—Georgian-Armenian activist Vahagn Chakhalyan, is suing Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to court for making unsubstantiated charges against him for which he was never prosecuted.
Also named in Chakhalyan’s suit are former Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili, the former Samtskhe-Javakhk Provincial Governor and Environment Minister Goga Khachidzev.
Georgian authorities in January released Georgian-Armenian activist Chakhalyan, who was serving a 10-year sentence for alleged weapons possession and inciting unrest, his lawyers reported.
Chakhalyan was arrested by Georgian authorities on July 21, 2008. He was given a 10-year sentence for “organization of large-scale events, public disturbance, hooliganism and illegal possession of weapons,” based on falsified evidence. Vahagn Chakhalyan’s case is currently being studied at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
In his first official statement in January after being released from prison, Chakhalyan said that the only reason he wound up in jail in the first place was that he demanded that Georgian authorities respect the rights of Javakhk residents and that he criticized the persecution of Javakhk Armenians by the Saakashvili regime.
Chakhalyan said he only employed legal means to fight against these measures.
In addition, the activist lamented the fact that the Georgian Dream party had buckled under the torrent of slander directed against him by the former servants of the Saakashvili regime and had removed his name from the final list of political prisoners in Georgia.
Chakhalyan stressed that he had been a victim of political persecution and pointed to the clamour raised by members of Saakashvili party members during discussions, both within and without parliament, regarding his name.
The Javakhk activist argued that all attempts to integrate the Armenian populace of Javakhk into the socio-political life of Georgia would be fruitless if Javakhk Armenians didn’t feel they were being treated as fully fledged and equal citizens of Georgia.