During the press conference of “Ohanyan-Raffi-Oskanyan” election bloc on February 13, Former RA Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan addressed the issue of political prisoners in Armenia.
“Certainly, there are political prisoners in Armenia but today I don’t want to ․․․”, the former minister replied to the question of the journalist.
In fact, this statement of Seyran Ohanyan contradicted his previous stance on the issue of political prisoners in Armenia.
According to a number of human rights defenders, freedom fighter – activist Volodya Avetisyan, Seyran Ohanyan’s combat friend, is among the political prisoners. However, Ohanyan had previously made numerous statements (including from the National Assembly) according to which he did not consider Avetisyan’s persecution a politically motivated one, and, hence, Avetisyan is not a political prisoner.
In 2013, Avetisyan organized protests demanding to increase the pensions of freedom fighters. But a criminal prosecution was launched against him on the charges of alleged commitment of fraud. The fabricated nature of criminal prosecution against Avetisyan was justified in October 2013, after the amnesty decision was adopted by the RA National Assembly. In the original version of the charges, the decision on granting amnesty should have also applied to Volodya Avetisyan. However, a few days before the decision, another charge was brought against Avetisyan, due to which he could not take advantage of the amnesty.