Armenia’s Defense Minister Promises to ‘See What He Can Do’ in Case of Killed Solder Moved to Idjevan
Gathered outside the Government of Armenia building in Yerevan again today were activists and family members of young men killed in the army during peacetime. One of such family members, Tsovinar Nazaryan, sister of rifle platoon commander Artak Nazaryan, who died on Jul. 27, 2010, drew attention to the fact that her brother’s case, along with those of opposition activist Tigran Araqelyan (accused of hooliganism) and former traffic police chief Margar Ohanyan (accused of embezzlement) always happen to be assigned on the same days. This fact, coupled with moving her brother’s case to the northern Armenian city of Idjevan, has led her to believe that there are directives from state officials up above. Tsovinar is convinced that all three high-profile court cases (which frequently are covered by the press) are booked on the same days so that the media is unable to cover each case in depth and thus, the public is not informed of serious developments.
Later, Artak Nazaryan’s mother, Hasmik Hovhannisyan, approached Armenian Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan who left the building after the regular Thursday government meeting concluded. Following her were members of the press.
Seeing the reporters, Ohanyan said, “Are you going to follow me all the way? Let’s go to the Ministry of Defense offices together by foot. Shall we go, shall we go to the defense ministry together? Let’s go by foot.”
Hovhannisyan asked the defense minister (pictured below, center right, with glasses) to move the court sessions of her son’s case back to Yerevan. The minister pointed out that he has created all the necessary conditions for the parties to get to Idjevan.
Hovhannisyan said in this sense, she has no objections and for this she thanks him; nevertheless, according to her, “the trial has to be brought to Yerevan.” Ohanyan then promised that he will see what he can do again.
The defense minister continued speaking with several parents of killed soldiers, while the Epress.am correspondent on the scene noticed an angry dispute between a man and two women and the protesting parents nearby.
The man and two women were urging demonstrators not to blame Seyran Ohanyan as he’s a good man and has done many good things. This infuriated some of the parents, one of whom shouted, “Who said he’s a bad man? Everyone is a good person for themselves, what do we care.”
The altercation continued for some time until police and others gathered outside intervened.
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