Armenia Diaspora Politics

Armenian authorities plan to deport Karabakh war hero

In a note sent out on May 23rd, the committee for support of Jirayr Sefilyan and Vardan Malkhasyan informed the public, that the Armenian police have officially applied to court with a request to sanction deportation of the commander of Karabakh commander, Lebnese Armenian Jirar Sefilyan, who was arrested on December 9, 2006 and again on August 6, 2007, on charges of possessing an illegal firearm, and was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, along with his supporter Vardan Malkhasyan and Vahan Aroyan. However, the real reason why Sefilyan has become the target of the authorities, is his hardline position on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh resolution and the sorrounding security zone around it, which many refer to as the liberated territories.

Next month, on June 9th, Sefilyan is due to be released from the Vardashen prison, but apparently, Armenian authorities are devising plans to send him away as soon as the Karabakh war veteran is set free. The fact, that during the 2008 Presidential campaign Jirayr Sefilyan openly supported opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian, further strengthened the determination of Armenian authorities to get rid of the freedom fighter, the war hero decorated with “1st Order Military Cross” and a range of other military signs of honor. In a detailed article on the issue, Hetq also informes, that Jirayr Sefilyan has applied on several occasions for Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh citizenship, and has so far been refused. The last application to the president of Karabakh Bako Sahakyan was made on May 22, after the Armenian authorities refused to accept yet another application from Sefilyan.

All in all, seems like everything is set and ready to deport the war hero. Needless to say, that this incident is highly demoralising for the Armenain army, it is also a blow to Diaspora Armenians – of which Jirayr Sefilyan is a representative.