Seda Ghukasyan

Human Rights Activist: Evidence Exists to Hold Robert Kocharian Accountable for March 1, 2008 Deaths

Artur Sakunts, Director of the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office, described the events of March 1-2, 2008 as “state terrorism” during his address today at a parliamentary hearing convened on the 10th anniversary of mass public protests in Yerevan.

Sakunts said the Kocharian regime had used all state resources at its disposal to carry out mass violence against Armenian citizens and civil opposition.

Ten were killed and hundreds injured when police and army units were mobilized to crush public protests following the February 19, 2008 election, won by Serzh Sargsyan, that most in Armenia regarded as fraudulent.

“There is ample evidence to call to account, and at the minimum to render a legal evaluation, of Robert Kocharian, then Defense Minister Mikayel Harutyunyan, Chief of the General Staff Seyran Ohanyan, Military Police Chief Vladimir Gasparyan, Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan, Police Chief Hayk Harutyunyan, and National Security Service Chief Gorik Hakobyan. These are the people who gave the orders for all that happened,” said Sakunts.

Sakunts also argued that a state of emergency was declared in Yerevan without any corresponding legal basis and that martial rule was imposed on the entire country.