May 22
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This year, on the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, banners could be seen at the top of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, reading, "Free Armenian Prisoners Now," "There can be no peace agreement without the release of Armenian prisoners," "No COP29 in Azerbaijan without freeing all Armenian prisoners," "Global Silence, Global Shame: Stop Genocide," alongside the photos of more than two dozen Armenian prisoners illegally held in Baku prison.

These banners were carried by the participants of the mass march organized by the friends of Ruben Vardanyan, who is illegally detained in Baku prison, not only paying tribute to the memory of millions of innocent martyrs on the anniversary of the Genocide, but also expressing their support for the Armenian prisoners and Ruben Vardanyan, who declared a hunger strike on April 5 in order to demand the immediate release of all Armenian prisoners.

"Today, we commemorate the martyrs of the Genocide and, through this action, we simultaneously strive to draw the world's attention to the fact that we have prisoners held illegally in Baku prisons, one of whom, Ruben Vardanyan, has been on hunger strike for about 20 days. International human rights organizations should respond and implement pressure mechanisms, because the issue of Armenian prisoners illegally arrested and held as hostages in an authoritarian country is also the issue of the civilized world. We know that Ruben Vardanyan’s family and friends are concerned about his condition and demand that the International Committee of the Red Cross visit him immediately. Through this march, we also demand the same and join Ruben Vardanyan's demand to immediately release all Armenian prisoners," said Ruben Hayrapetyan, the organizer of the action.

One of the banners borne by the participants of the march was the message conveyed by Ruben Vardanyan from Baku prison to his family: "Values and principles are more important than even life itself."

This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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