‘Revolution of Values’: Supporters to stage protest on one-year anniversary of Shant Harutyunyan’s imprisonment

This day a year ago a ‘Revolution of Values’ was attempted in Armenia as radical opposition Tseghakron party leader Shant Harutyunyan, his friends and supporters and simply ordinary citizens rallied around the idea staging a protest in central Yerevan.

After clashes between the protesters and riot police dozens of activists were detained, some of them were later arrested and tried. Last month a court in Yerevan convicted Harutyunyan and 11 of his supporters to jail terms.

Harutyunyan was sentenced to six-year imprisonment, Avetis Avetisyan, Liparit Petrosyan, Vardan Vardanyan – to five years, Albert Margaryan – to six years, Alek Poghosyan and Mkrtich Hovhannisyan – to four years, Armen Hovhannisyan – to two years, Hayk Harutyunyan – four years and six months, Sevak Mnatsakanyan – one year and six months, Tigran Petrosyan – one year, Vahe Mkrtchyan – seven years.

It is noteworthy that Harutyunyan’s underage son, Shahen Harutyunyan was among them; the court gave him a four-year suspended prison sentence. There were monetary fines as well. Many opposition groups and human rights activists in Armenia describe Harutyunyan and his supporters as political prisoners.

There will be a rally of the Anonymous today and that way the rally participants say they want to express their discontent, Shant Harutyunyan’s ex-wife said.

“Our next step will be the Court of Appeal, there will also be a rally of the Anonymous today, and we will express our discontent that way. The event took place at a similar rally last year and that rally is the reason our guys are in prison today,” she said.

The guilty Avetis Avetisyan’s mother added that they are also going to apply to the Court of Appeal.

“Avetis has no defense attorney, he has to fill out an application and the state must provide one for him. I do not see this as a trial procedure, this is a show, there was nothing just, they had to imprison the guys, so they did,” she added.

Lawyers of the jailed activists are going to appeal the court’s verdicts and sentences at a higher judicial instance.