Point of View

We are with Those Who Suffer


On April 5, at the initiative of the President of International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Mrs. Souhayr Belhassen a meeting with relatives of the March 1 victims was held at the Civil Society Institute.

The relatives told Mrs. Belhassen the details of the events noting that their sons died not as a result of clashes, but were shot dead during a peaceful demonstration in the center of the capital.

Vachagan Farmanyan, father of one of the victims, Armen Farmanyan, noted that despite the fact that two years passed after the events, the murders have not been revealed.

"Prosecutor's office, law enforcing bodies do nothing in that direction; on the contrary they try to close the March 1 page. My son had no weapon, no iron bar, no gasoline. Is it right to kill peaceful demonstrators?"

Samvel Harutunyan's father told that his son was found 3 days after the March 1 events, on March 4th in the hospital in unrecognizable state and died after 41 days. 

"By Christian religion today is a Memorial Day and we were supposed to go to the cemetery, but we have come here with a hope that you will give a fair solution to this issue," Samvel Harutyunyan's father said.

Gor Kloyan's parents noted that Gor was their only son who left two children after him one of them only 40 days old.

"I can't understand till now why my son didn't return home that day. He was not armed," Gor Kloyan's mother said.

Serviceman Tigran Abgaryan's mother appealed to Mrs. Belhassen with tears in her eyes:

"My son was only 18 years old, serving in police forces. He was unconscious for 40 days; he turned 19 in the hospital. If my son had died on the border or on the battlefield I would think that he died for his motherland. I had sent him to defend his country. Who killed my soldier in the center of the town?"

Alla Hovanisyan, mother of Tigran Khachatryan who died as a result of use of "Cheryomukha 7" special device said:

"That device - Cheryomukha 7, was used by 4 policemen but they continue to work in the police system and haven't even been questioned as suspects."

Davit Petrosyan's mother is confident that deaths of his son and other victims are not a result of clashes:

"Two people even if they clash in the street would not die. There were troops, tanks, armed policemen in the town on that day." 

After listening to the parents of the victims the President of International Federation for Human Rights Mrs. Souhayr Belhassen said:

"I am a mother, also a grandmother and when you mention the ages - 18, 13, 28, 35, I understand how deplorable it is for you as parents. You live with the sorrow in your heart and still you have to be helped with justice and truth. True, it is your pain, but it is our work to find the truth and reveal it. It is our work here and in the world. I understand it will not ease your pain but I realize that disclosing the case will help you."

Mrs. Belhassen emphasized that in countries with similar situations their organization managed to have those guilty punished, up to presidents. And if they did not stand trials in their own countries, that happened at international tribunals.

"Believe me, that with such huge experience we have not come here just to shake hands with some people. We have come to show our experience and to demand that justice is administered. We could not speak out about these important issues without coming here. We have come to say that we are with those who suffer, who are killed. We work for those who died for their own dignity," President of International Federation for Human Rights emphasized.

Mrs. Belhassen mentioned that after the March 1 events representatives of their organization have 5 times visited Armenia.

"Believe me, we do not visit Armenia just for nothing, we always want to have some tangible results. Tomorrow 300 representatives of different countries will be in Armenia and the story of your sons will be presented to them. It is good that I heard this story just from you because parents never exaggerate anything. I officially promise that I will raise the issues you are concerned with at all high instances accessible to me."        

Relatives of the victims were accompanied by the ANC representative Arakel Semirjyan, representatives of March 1 victims Vahe Grigoryan and Artak Zeynalyan as well as representatives of Civil Society Institute Artak Kirakosyan and Arman Danielyan.