Human rights defender: Robert Kocharyan is not “politically persecuted”18:44, July 31, 2018 | News, Other news
These days, the charge brought against the second President of the Republic, his detention and the legal grounds for his detention remain No 1 issue on the internal political agenda. In order to observe the issue from the legal point of view, VNews.am interviewed human rights defender Artur Sakunts.
-Mr. Sakunts, how would you interpret the recent developments in our reality?
-The criminal prosecution is more than grounded, as it all happened before everyone’s eyes. The armed forces were used for inner political purposes. Moreover, all the arguments on alleged threats to internal security do not correspond to reality at all. Peaceful assemblies cannot be considered dangerous from the perspective of security. The involvement of the armed forces and the declaration of a state of emergency did not have any substantiation. As regards external security, in such cases, armed forces are not brought from the borders to the capital, vice versa.
-How would you substantiate the choice of the preventive measure?
–I can only provide one argument. His being free may be a hindering circumstance for the examination of the case, taking into account the post held by Robert Kocharyan previously, the nature of that power, which was concentrated in the hands of one person, and the fact that he was exercising that power through unlawful methods. All that can now also be used as a method for pressure against potential witnesses and suspects. Taking into consideration his opportunities, which are at least conditioned by his previous power, it is clear that using detention as a preventive measure against him is more than grounded in view of the interests of the preliminary investigation. As to immunity, the aim of providing that immunity is prescribed for actions aimed at protecting the principles of the constitutional order enshrined in the Constitution. And his actions were aimed at violating that very constitutional order. In the given case, immunity cannot be viewed as an argument for evading liability.
-There is an attempt to present Robert Kocharyan as “politically persecuted.” How would you interpret it?
-Robert Kocharyan has not been engaged in politics recently. The separate interviews given by him do not evidence active political activity. Therefore, he should have been engaged in political activity to be subjected to political persecution. A person is considered as a political prisoner when they are persecuted for their opinions and standpoints. There are no such grounds or facts to prove that he is being persecuted for his political views in the framework of the criminal case. Moreover, it refers to the events of 10 years ago, when he was the president. Back then, his political views were not placed at the basis of the activity, vice versa; it was Kocharyan who persecuted his political opponents through unlawful actions. And now defining the fact of being brought to liability for unlawfulness as “political persecution” should at least be the result of vivid imagination.