Upon hearing the news, that there’s been an attack on the head of Armenia’s Helsinki Association Mikael Danielyan, my first reaction was, that it must be related to his interview to A1plus yesterday, where the breave human right’s activist was criticizing the activities of the Armenian law enforcement bodies in addressing the demands of the PACE Resolution 1609, related to the release of “political prisoners”, and noting, that the Armenian authorities are following the example of Azerbaijan, which did not release its political prisoners even after a PACE Resolution.
There was another attack on Mika Danialyan back in 2004, which was never properly investigated, and the human rights defender claimed, that the offenders back then were connected to Armenian special services. Today, as reported by A1plus, at around 3:00, when walking along the pavement with a friend, Mikayel Danilyan had stopped to salute a friend, when a BMW had started signalling from behind. Then, in response to Danielian’s inquiry, as to what the signalling meant, a fellow had come off the car, calling the human rights activist a “CIA agent” and “defender of gay rights”. According to A1plus, “Afterwards, he took out a gun and shot at Danielian’s chest. Fortunately, the wound wasn’t serious as according to the preliminary investigation the criminal had shot from a gas pistol.”
A friend of mine who visited Mika Danielyan at the Police Department noted, that Danielyan was feeling all right, and was giving evidence to the police. He also noted, that Tigran Urikhanyan, former leader of the ultra-right “Progressive Party”, was also in the police department – and apparently he was the offender.
What I am most concerned in this story, is that nobody seems to take it serious. I am sure, that the police will try to hush up the matter, and state connected Tigran Urikhanyan will happily walk away, while the human rights activist, who is known for his criticism of the Authorities, will be left crying for justice. All the likes of Urikhanyan will see it as a “sign of heroism” to attack human rights activists, call them spies, verbally abuse them. Yet another signal will be sent out, that people striving for human rights are second class citizens, especially if they’re criticizing the state machine. The society will see once again, that when even the rights of human rights defenders are not protected – what could they expect for themselves? Yet in another example, we will see human rights and democracy harassed in this country. Is there a solution? I guess not…