March 1, 2008 Activist to Republican Party MPs: “You executed my relatives”
Vardges Gaspar, a well-known political activist in Armenia, told a packed parliament holding hearings on the mass public unrest that rocked Yerevan on March1-2, 2008 that those in power at the time had executed his relatives.
“You executed them. And now, being under the same roof as you, let me say that I’m displaying great restraint not to spit in your faces,” Gaspar declared, addressing Republican Party of Armenia MPs.
Ten were killed and hundreds when the government resorted to force to quell peaceful protests following the presidential election of February 19. The government declared a state of emergency and a media blackout was imposed. It is fair to say that most in Armenia regarded the election, in which Serzh Sargsyan won 53% of the vote, as fraudulent.
Gaspar accused members of the ruling Republican Part of Armenia of using force to solve problems prior to 2008 and since.
The activist, who had originally been banned from entering the parliament and giving his address, told relatives of those killed during the unrest ten years ago that he was sorry that he and the other activists hadn’t been killed instead.
“I’m sorry that we, the movement’s longtime activists, weren’t murdered instead of your children. I hope that you will accept this as sincere, and that you magnanimously pardon us,” Gaspar said.