Initiative group members say they are threatened

Members of the initiative group “In Defence of Volodya Avetisyan,” are threatened by law enforcement authorities, Gagik Sarukhanyan, a member of the initiative group, told A1+.

He says the group members are summoned to the National Security Service. Police officers visit their homes and warn against participating in rallies in defence of the arrested colonel [Volodya Avetisyan].

“We call on all law enforcement bodies to operate within law and not restrict citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and free movement,” he said.

On March 11, a rally-march was held in support of Volodya Avetisyan, an active participant of protests held by Karabakh War veterans, who was detained on September 20, 2013, on suspicion of receiving $2000 from an official of the Ministry of Defence for assistance to release an Armenian citizen from military service.

The rally was attended by several dozens of people who left a letter at the Presidential Office with a demand to release Volodya Avetisyan and establish the rule of law in the country.  They were chanting “Freedom!”, “Armenia without political prisoners!”, “Free and independent Armenia!” and carrying posters, banners and flags of Armenia.

Gagik Sarukhanyan says Avetisyan’s arrest is politically motivated and ‘people who do not see it, are simply blind.’