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The legal community considers the second President of Armenia a political prisoner. Perhaps this is the right wording merely from the perspective of law and within the scope of the developments to unfold in the European Court of Human Rights, but from the perspective of the moods and developments in Armenia, the second President of Armenia is a hostage. This is the opinion of member of the Alternative Projects Group Marine Sukiasyan.

“There is a qualitative difference between hostage and political prisoner. No judicial or legal norm is followed in the case of second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan. He is in prison because that is what one person wants.

A particular article of a law is adapted for a political prisoner, there are trials, and all procedural norms are outwardly followed.

All this is missing in the case of a hostage. Until this moment, the charge against Robert Kocharyan remains unclear. The prosecuting attorneys say they have nothing to do with the victims of the events of March 1, 2008. They are charging Robert Kocharyan under an article that didn’t exist at the time, overlooking 99% of the testimonies proving his innocence and accepting as a basis one testimony that has been refuted over time.

The statuses of hostage and political prisoner also differ in the sense of protection. Certain circles with political views very often don’t acknowledge the words “political prisoner” for a specific case, and this is not just a case in Armenia. However, in the case of a hostage, there can’t be political views. When terrorists hijack aircraft, nobody considers the political views, religious or geopolitical differences of the passengers who are on board since they are all hostages, and all efforts are made to free them.

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