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October 21
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The manifestations of judicial nihilism and punitive justice are gradually deepening in our country. Governable courts, governable Constitutional Court, and system of ordered judgments will throw the state back for many years.

A climate is rapidly forming when everyone becomes equally unprotected against lawlessness.

The country’s political leadership’s perceptions of the judiciary and justice are in stark contrast not only to the international obligations Armenia has assumed, but also to the promises—justice and solidarity—made to hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets in 2018 to demand changes. The facts of numerous demonstrative pressure carried out on the courts is an alarm that the state is entering a phase of punitive repression. We can assess the process unleashed against the Constitutional Court as an aspiration of the executive to have a lackey CC.

The so-called March 1 trial plays a major role in the division of society and the deepening of internal enmity. Instead of going through a difficult dialogue, drawing detached conclusions, and opening up the chapter of March 2 in the life of the state, the authorities went on the road of designating a guilty one for March 1 and manipulating public sentiment. This trial not only will not find the culprits of the deaths of the ten victims, but, also, it will not answer any important question of concern to the broad strata of society.

Second President Robert Kocharyan has been found guilty by a political decision. The demonstrative pressure on the courts in recent months prove that the opportunities for the protection of right and fair trial have already run out within the country.

In the form of second President Robert Kocharyan, Armenia today has its own political prisoner, who is being held in custody for demonstrative punishment—with the most vicious manifestations of violation of law and right. It is apparent that in the near future we will have ECHR judgments, condemning assessments by international human rights organizations. However, it is much more important to realize that, at this moment in Armenia, the country’s entire judiciary, internal climate, and long-term prospects of the country have been put at risk because of a sense of vengeance against just one person.

We call on human rights activists not to forget their mission and to act within the scope of the requirements of that mission, regardless of all personal ties and group interests. The issue of individual accountability is put very acutely today. Tomorrow, when problems get worse, it will be difficult to explain today’s silence.

We call on the judges to remain true to their constitutional mission of delivering justice, and to acknowledge the personal accountability of each and every one in these processes that harm the state.

We call on our society—the circles having different political views and preferences—to put aside personal and political interests, as here we deal exclusively with the violation of the right and a threat posing to the judiciary. We call on to assist, support the judges who remain true to their difficult profession and their conscience.

We call on to join efforts around a few simple concepts: R. Kocharyan’s precautionary measure must be commuted, the second President should be released, the March 1 trial cannot proceed within the framework of a directed party. Failure to do so, we will then get new March 1 trials, each and every one of which will proceed in accordance to the whims of any other party.

Alternative Projects Group

Vahe Hovhannisyan

Stepan Margaryan

Elinar Vardanyan

Gegham Nazaryan

Marine Sukiasyan

Hovak Kyureghyan – “Free speech, free thought” NGO

Soghomon Mrjumyan - My Voice Project

Asya Ovanyan - My Voice Project, member of the Chamber of Advocates

The statement is open to those who wish to join.

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