“Political prisoners became a burden for authorities”

Former political prisoner Petros Makeyan says it is disgraceful for Armenia to celebrate Human Rights Day with nine political prisoners.

 Human rights protection is on the lowest level in Armenia, especially after the events of February 2008. We have all gone through that hell. We should blame for that mess not only the regime but also ourselves, for we have endured these authorities for years.

 What can an ordinary Armenian do to protect his rights in Armenia?

 And what are we doing today? Hundreds of thousands of people have gone to the street as their patience has run out.

 For the first time the Armenian National Congress has called for the release of political prisoners. Do you think that the political prisoners are being released under the press of international community or Armenian opposition?

 First of all, their release is determined by the activization of public. If everything went normal in Armenia, international forces would not pressurize our authorities. The international community is also to blame for the situation in Armenia. They view all post-Soviet nations as second-class peoples. Armenians should force the international community to cooperate with legitimate authorities formed in the result of free and fair elections.

 Do you share the opinion that all political prisoners will be freed by the yearend with the exception of Sasun Mikaelyan and Nikol Pashinyan?

Nothing is excluded though I do not think that they will be released before 2011. The authorities have no other choice than to release the political prisoners who have become a burden on their shoulders. The authorities want to get rid of the burden.

  Do you think that Pashinyan and Mikaelyan pose a danger for the authorities?

I think that the authorities simply want to settle accounts with them for the harm done to them.