Armen Ashotyan is a respected member of the Assemblies of the European People's Party and the Centrist Democrat International, and as of today he is Armenia's newest political prisoner.
We condemn his pretrial incarceration, which has no basis in law or fact, as a flagrant violation of democracy and due process, the rule of law, and any vestige of constitutionality in the Republic.
Itself under continued attack, aggression and occupation by the forces of dictatorship in neighboring Azerbaijan--and with the threat of another Turkish-masterminded genocide looming over its compatriots across the long-blockaded corridor in Artsakh (Mountainous Karabagh)--Armenia's own credentials as a sovereign, secure and democratic nation-state are under erious question.
We have stood in defense of civil and human rights--and next to our political prisoners--during all of Armenia's administrations, without exception and including when Mr. Ashoyan's party was in power and responsible for the good and very bad of the country.
But today we stand with him, with the Armenian people, with the rule of rights and equal protection, and against the most shameful transition of leadership from democrats to petty dictators, from chest-beating patriots to homeland-betraying capitulants, in human history.
I regret that Mr Pashinyan's comprehensive, primal, at times cannibal abuse of the tremendously hopeful national revival of 2018 has shattered so many lives, sacrificed so many golden soldiers, lost so much of the national patrimony to an equally cannibalistic and unworthy enemy, and under the banner of "democracy's bastion" has modernized the concept of political prison.
Anything, whether at home or abroad, to help maintain his desperate cling to power, to shore up the actual legitimacy lost long ago, to mimic and imitate and plagiarize his way through life up to and including a recurring self-identification with the Messiah...
In sum, this failed leader and defeated "commander in chief" today is taking petty, puerile revenge on one of his long-standing detractors. For me he has tried to find different indirect, unattributable ways to "hurt" me and my family. For Armen, it is this.
We condemn this travesty of justice, demand Mr. Ashotyan' release, and look forward in short order to the true Republic of Armenia with its fully restored democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Raffi K. Hovannisian
Founder and Chairman, Political Council
First Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Armenia
16 June 2023