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Robert Kocharyan, first President of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) and second President of Armenia, on Tuesday addressed a message to the authors and supporters of Monday’s statement demanding his release from custody. The message reads as follows:

Dear colleagues and friends,

I thank you for initiating the announcement issued yesterday. It is inspiring when diverse people who enjoy prestige among the public of Armenia and Artsakh act in a united way on the political persecution being carried out against me, raising their united voice of protest. I also thank the hundreds of people, our citizens and Diaspora Armenians who have joined the statement and welcomed it on social media and other platforms.

Thank you.

I consider it important to stress: your voice comes to prove the irrefutable fact that what is happening has ceased to be a fight for one person’s freedom, for stopping the political persecution against one person. This is now a fight for a rule of law and democratic state, for national dignity and against arbitrariness.

The legal boundlessness policy pursued by the incumbent prime minister [of Armenia] has rippled to the thinking part of society, and the launching of this statement and the reaction following its publicizing are the best proof of it.

I want you to know: I am full of determination to continue the fight, even from the prison cell. It is just ridiculous to me the hopes of people who think that imprisonment can make me abandon my principles, my political goals whose fulfillment I have started to engage in back in [19]88, since the very first days of the Karabakh movement. It is not the first time in my life that I have to suffer deprivation for an important objective and it cannot break my will.

I am confident that justice will prevail, and we will work together to strengthen and build the security of our two states.

!
This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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