Tuesday, 25 September

Arrested Activist Tigran Mazmanyan's Family is Convinced the “Reject Serzh” Movement Will Yield Results



Arrested Activist Tigran Mazmanyan's Family is Convinced the “Reject Serzh” Movement Will Yield Results

Parents of 23-year-old Tigran Mazmanyan, a protest activist arrested on April 17, are former freedom fighters. His mother, Arpineh Harutyunyan, and father, Mher Mazmanyan, participated in the Artsakh War.

Arpineh says, "It was the war that united us. Tigran has inherited our values of loving and protecting our homeland". She was only eighteen when the Artsakh War started and saw death from a close distance, losing her fellow-girlfriends in the battle.

Tigran's father is from Spitak. He says he decided to stay in Artsakh after the war, to have enough children to give them the names of all his war buddies. Tigran was born after the ceasefire in 1994. He has four brothers and three sisters.

Arpineh describes her son as a fighter, dignified citizen and son. Tigran is a future economist, who’s also engaged in journalism. After serving in the army, he was a contract soldier in peacekeeping troops, until he was removed for his political views.

We met up with Tigran's parents who were coming back from the Noubarashen Penitentiary, after taking essential necessities and food to their son held there.

Mher Mazmanyan spent two months in the same prison in 2016. He was accused of supporting Sasna Tzrer's actions. "80% of my friends from the war are in jail now," says Mher Mazmanyan, who also fought for social issues of freedom fighters back in 2012.

Mher Mazmanyan is convinced that the current protests will have an effect: the level of people’s consciousness has increased, and the government started to think about other things apart from material issues.

Tigran Mazmanyan was arrested on the morning of April 17 on suspicion of violating Criminal Code Points 1 and 2 of Article 225 (Mass Disorder)

  1. Organization of mass disorder, accompanied with violence, pogroms, arson, destruction or damage to property, using fire-arms, explosives or explosive devices, or by armed resistance to the representative of the authorities, is punished with imprisonment for the term of 4 to 10 years.

  2. Organization of mass disorder, accompanied with violence, pogroms, arson, destruction or damage to property, using fire-arms, explosives or explosive devices, or by armed resistance to the representative of the authorities, is punished with imprisonment for the term of 4 to 10 years.

He was later charged with violating Point 1

The violation was said to have occurred on April 14, when Mazmanyan and other protesters pushed their way into the building housing the offices of Public Radio of Armenia

However, there is a video on the Internet clearly showing that Tigran Mazmanyan's hands were raised in the air when he passed the police officer on duty, and the police officer was just standing.

This video was also presented to the court, but to no avail. Human rights defenders have filed a complaint against the arrest of Tigran Mazmanyan, stating that the criminal case against Tigran Mazmanyan is fabricated.

Attorneys Robert Revazyan and Ara Gharagyozian say Tigran Mazmanyan’s two-month imprisonment amounts to political persecution.


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