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December 14
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YEREVAN. – Former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armenian National Assembly, Arsen Babayan, insists that he is being persecuted politically. Babayan stated this at a November 14 press conference along with his lawyers.

Arsen Babayan is charged with assisting the Constitutional Court President in usurping power and committing official fraud. He remained in custody for more than 3 weeks, after which he was released. The prosecutor's office made a decision to commute his being remanded in custody and to apply personal guarantee as his new pretrial measure.

According to Babayan, those who claim that the case is not politically motivated cite the fact that he is not a politician. "Such excuses do not fit into criticism," Babayan said. "Being a politician is not necessary for political persecution."

He added that the charges and actions against him were unlawful.

"I spent 22 days in illegal detention," Babayan stressed. "I am a hostage of the political authorities."

He stated that he will fight by all legal means and reach a just decision - first of all, the dropping of the case. Babayan also said that from now on he intends to engage in human rights activities to help people who are being subjected to illegal actions.

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