Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Letter from Gharabagh: About Hatspanian

The letter translated below was published in Haykakan Zhamanak on December 5th [can't link because their servers seem to be down (or to have been downed, as the case may be)]. That the letter is from Ardzakh is not an incidental fact; it is central, because Kocharyan and his entire clan and entourage are from Ardzakh, of course, and for someone from that region to call for Hatspanian to be set free is saying something.

Hatspanian, a veteran of the war, is on a hunger strike--in prison. He was put there ostensibly because he revealed a plot to assassinate Serzh Sargsyan during an interview with Haykakan Zhamanak (translation here), a supremely good move on his part because, had the plot succeeded, Kocharyan's hand would have strengthened immeasurably: How many innocent people would have wound up in jail as "terrorists" is anybody's guess. I think it is important for all those who would like to see SS and RK disappear to know that assassinations are as much a thing of the past as political prisoners are.

If you want to read Hatspanian's account of 3/1, go here (pt. 1) and here (pt. 2).

Letter from Gharabagh
Sergey Poghossian
Kashatagh region
Goghtanik village

It was evening in early November, and we were watching Haylur, when suddenly my wife turned to me with a dumbstruck expression on her face just as she heard mentioned the name of Sarkiss Hatspanian, the benefactor and guardian of our family and its many members. Could Paruyr Hairikyan really be that treacherous and inhuman to declare Hatspanian a persona non grata, criticize him, and condemn him as a traitor? [You] government leaders, when I embarked on the road through Lachin from Ashtarak along with my 15 hungry and bare children, which one of you asked, "Where are you taking those pitiful children?"

We used to live in one of the lost villages of Kashatagh up until the year 2000, pining for a handful of daily flour. It was then that along came Ara Manukian and twice provided assistance to the entire village. Alas, the previous administration began harassing him and prohibited his help. But then Gurgen Melikyan and Sarkiss Hatspanian arrived and with God's grace helped us and continue to help us to this day. It was, indeed, no one other than Sarkiss Hatspanian who bought me a car and paid for it himself, so that I could earn two pennies in these mountains and not be crushed under the responsibility of taking care of 15 children. Because of Hatspanian, Kashatagh became a birthplace for me, and I began living for the sake of my children and my homeland. I appeal to the government of the Republic of Armenia: I am a man past 50, five of my children have served in the army, and two of them will be serving in the future--Please, set my dear Sarkiss Hatspanian free and condemn me for having 15 children, instead.

No comments: