Isn’t it ironic…

Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly will organize a conference on December 9th at Erebuni hotel. The discussion will focus on “Human Rights in Armenia: the problem of political prisoners”.

The irony lies in the fact, that former Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Jahangirian will be among the invited speakers to share his thoughts on the state of the human rights in Armenia. A controversial figure and a supporter of former president leader Levon Ter-Petrossian, Jahangirian himself was involved in many human rights violations committed by the law-enforcement bodies in Armenia until February 2008, when he voiced his support for the opposition and was discarded from office.

In one example, during an investigation into mysterious killings of two Armenian soldiers, Razmik Sargsian, a demobilized soldier, insisted, that he was forced to give testimony against himself and his comrades after being brutally tortured by investigators, including Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Jahangirian, who led the probe in his previous capacity as Armenia’s chief military prosecutor.

“Gagik Jahangirian personally slapped me when I was taken to his office,” RFE/RL reports him saying. “He was angry because I was unable to raise my head and look him in the eyes due to the beatings. He cracked one of my teeth and dislocated my jaw.”

One can’t help but ask – what made the other speakers agree to participate in the conference? How can the co-chair of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Natalia Martirosian, head of Rights and Freedom Center Vardan Harutyunian, Head of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office Artur Sakunts speak of human rights alongside former Deputy Prosecutor-General? Aren’t they ashamed?

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8 thoughts on “Isn’t it ironic…

  1. He knows both the sides – being the abuser and almost getting whacked for his political views. It’s a shame that physical violence and torture are the main means of extracting “confessions” in the Armenian law enforcement.

  2. Well, let’s see if he admits to being guilty of human rights abuses. Unless he does, and he really has to, it raises some serious doubts about his involvement in this panel.

  3. What I’m more surprised is the fact, that people like Artur Sakunts, who used to have big arguments with Jhangirian in the past, has agreed to speak with him in the same panel.

  4. My guess is that the discussion is about the political prisoners and Jhangiryan was a political prisoner and is still involved in trying to organize the defense of politically based detained people or the freedom of the political prisoners. So he is a good resource if he reveals his experiences.

    I’m sure if the scope of the discussion was torture then Jhangiryan would not be the best advocate against it. Unless he repents his past.

  5. I was present at one of the Human Rights Commission’s gatherings in the presidential palace in 2001. When Jhangiryan was called to answer some allegations by Zolyan, his reply was very threatening and bordering on physical threats, Zolyan left. When the chairman Hayrikyan asked him to calm down, he was also told to shut up and mind his business.
    Great human rights activist.

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