Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ter-Petrossian: "They would have killed me."

via Unzipped via Zhamanak via Kommersant

Former Presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrossian has expressed his dissatisfaction with the behavior of the European observers. In an interview given to Kommersant newspaper he asserted that Europeans would not abide in Europe that which they abide in Armenia.

"Let me ask a clear question: If 50 of Mrs. Clinton's supporters or 50 of Mr. Sarkozy's supporters were arrested, what would happen in the United States or in France? There, such a thing is not possible; here, however, it is possible. The Europeans would not allow such a thing over there, but they are allowing it over here. If there are standards, then those standards apply to everybody. What is unacceptable in Europe must not be acceptable here. For that reason, we are dissatisfied with the position that the observers have taken," said Levon Ter-Petrossian.

"This is what is thought: The Europeans arrive, and they make illegitimate elections legitimate. The OSCE and the European Council are our organizations; we are one of their qualified members. Our governments have responsibilities with regard to them, but they likewise have responsibilities with regard to our citizens, and we demand that they meet those responsibilities," argued Armenia's first president.

In response to Kommersant's question, what would have happened if on March 1st Levon Ter-Petrossian had not stayed at his house, but had gone to the protesters gathered near the French embassy, the former presidential candidate replied, "What would have happened? [Kocharian & co.] would have killed me. That is just what they needed. Then they would have attributed it to whatever hooligans. They would have said several people disgruntled by me killed me. And that would have made the situation much more vitreous," concluded Levon Ter-Petrossian.
(Original Armenian here)

1 comment:

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

This is the first headline article from A1+'s March 21st publication:

It is an excerpt from an interview with Ter-Petrossian on March 1st. Something that A1+ has not been allowed to print for twenty days due to the state of emergency. Here it is (and it is not my translation, btw):

Levon Ter-Petrosyan remained in the Liberty Square long, and today under the home arrest he conducted a press conference and many international journalists participated in it. The RA First President tells about the incident in detail.

“At 6 a.m. I was waken up and told that special troops from Parakar and Davitashen were moving in our direction, but they were not armed. I talked to the people. We did not think that something would take place. To secure us in case of emergency we turned on the microphones to be able to communicate with people. The troops were observed at about 6.30-40 a.m.. They made a circle in the neighboring streets and arrived in the Square. The troops came in rows from the right and left and stood in front of the people. I told the people not to complain or attack on the troops; I asked them to be patient and not to talk with them. I asked them to wait until we found out what the police wanted from us. This was my last word. The rows of the troops moved forward and began beating the people. I saw two things - truncheons and sparkling electric shocks. You could see the blue sparkles all the time, nothing else, no guns, no gun-shells, no gas, no tear gas, no cars pouring water. The mentioned two weapons were used for protection. People were resisting them, but they were beaten severely. Some times later the officers of the president’s security service headed by Grisha Sarkisov appeared on the platform. My bodyguards were protecting me, but they represented the mentioned department and they obeyed Grisha Sarkisov. My bodyguards were protecting me, only Grisha Sarkisov’s men were able to evacuate them from the platform. Then Grish Sarkisov and someone else hold my arms and descended from the platform, then my men surrounded me and I said I would not leave the Square, I said they were free to arrest me, since I would leave only in handcuffs. I asked them to appeal to the General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepyan, let him give sanctions if they considered that it was an illegal rally and I had organized it. No one else is responsibility for the rally and only in that case I would leave the Square. Everything happened within 10-15 minutes, the Square was emptied swiftly, you could not see anyone in the Square, but the policemen. The troops surrounded the territory of the Opera, then they began ruining the equipments on the platform, tents and began looking for some things, some cudgels, I saw how they spread the cudgels and recorded it. They had operators with them who were recording it. I stayed in the Square for 2 hours until 8.35 a.m.. I set down smoked, drank water, no one approached me again. Later Sarkisov came up to me and said that I should leave; I repeated I would leave if they carried out my demands. He came and left several times, maybe they were consulting, then the police rows came, moved my bodyguards away and demanded me to follow them, but I resisted again, then they held my arms made me get onto the car, and brought me home, later I found out that they had locked my both gates.

Then I sent the head of my bodyguards to find out whether I was under home arrest or not. They said that I was not under home arrest I simply had no right to leave the house and no one had the right to come to my place. Some of my friends tried to come to my place; they did not allow them in. This is the whole story. I have tried to contact with my friends, I managed to talk to 4-5 of my people. Many people were injured, I saw how a young man was beaten, he ran in the wrong direction. 7-8 policemen beat him with truncheons, if my guards did not save him, he would probably be dead’.

Levon Ter-Petrosyan also informed that police did not warn them anything. “If only they had warned, maybe the crowd would disperse, but they did not say anything”.