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Public Hearing Closed to the Public? Case of Armenian Activist Shant Harutyunyan and Supporters

June 12, 2014 Armenia, Karabakh, Video No Comments
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15:17, June 12, 2014

Many of the Defendants’ Relatives Couldn’t Enter the Courtroom

The first hearing in the case of Shant Harutyunyan and the 13 other men arrested with him was held today in the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan. 

The 14 men, who have been in pre-trial detention for 7 months, are accused of “hooliganism” in an incident with police that occurred on Mashtots Avenue in central Yerevan on November 5, 2013. On this day, Harutyunyan, calling for an anti-government revolution, prepared to march to the presidential palace with dozens of his supporters, many of whom were armed with sticks and homemade stun grenades. The group, however, was stopped by police, and in the altercation that followed, Harutyunyan and the 13 men were arrested and accused of assaulting police officers. Some eyewitnesses claimed that   plainclothes officers and provocateurs were on the scene. 

Kremlin-Linked Media Chief Warns Armenia

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Armenia – Deputy parliament speaker Hermine Naghdalian and controversial Russian TV host Dmitry Kiselyov (R) at a meeting in Yerevan, 11Jun2014.

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Russia Details Large-Scale Arms Sales To Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan – President Ilham Aliyev inspects T-90 tanks and other weapons purchased from Russia at a military base in Nakhichevan, 7Apr2014.

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Russia has officially admitted supplying more tanks and other heavy weapons to Azerbaijan than Armenia in the past several years, in annual reports submitted to the United Nations.

Armenian Opposition Issues Demands To Sarkisian

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Armenia – The parliamentary leaders of the four main opposition parties release a joint declaration listing 12 demands to the government, Yerevan, 10Jun2014.

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Sasoun Brigade Commander Reflects: “Those who fought desire the greatest peace”

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16:13, June 10, 2014

Sasoun Mikayelyan looks at the black and white photos taken during the Karabakh War.

The dividing line between past and present runs through them.

Smoking a cigarette, the ash falls on his black pants. Sasoun brushes it aside, never diverting his glance from the photos. Those who survived the war have gotten old; others are buried in the Yerablur Military Cemetery.

Sasoun of the Sasoun Brigade

In November 1988, Sasoun had taken a convoy of cars to relocate the residents of the villages of Badakend and Chardakhlou to the town of Spitak. One night, while the residents were ready to leave, the Azerbaijanis attacked the village. They broke down the doors. The homes went to those who could capture them. Sasoun doesn’t want to describe what happened; it’s a scene that constantly plays out before his eyes. Instead, he gets lost in his thoughts.

Karabakh Part Of Armenia, Says Kocharian

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Nagorno-Karabakh – Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (R) and former President Robert Kocharian (L) watch a military parade in Stepanakert, 09May2012.

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OSCE to Conduct Monitoring of Artsakh "Line of Contact"

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13:08, June 9, 2014

In accordance with the arrangement reached with the authorities of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the OSCE Mission will conduct a planned monitoring of the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the Hadrut direction near Horadiz settlement on June 10,

From the positions of the NKR Defense Army, the monitoring will be conducted by Field Assistant of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Yevgeny Sharov (Ukraine) and staff member of the Office Peter Svedberg, as well as by representative of the OSCE High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) Lieutenant-Colonel Dan Harvey (Ireland).

Smbat Aivazyan dies

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Commander of the Tigran Metz civil defense group, freedom-fighter (participant in the Nagorno-Karabakh war) Smbat Aivazyan has died in Paris, France, on the night of June 8.Republic party member Suren Abramyan told Tert.am that Smbat Aivazyan was seriously ill and went to Paris for another course of treatment.In 1995-1999, Smbat Aivazyan was a member of Armenia’s Parliament. In 1998-2000, he was Armenia’s minister of state revenues. In 2003-2007, he was a member of Armenia’s Parliament again. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Turkish factor contributed to Nakichevan incident – debate in Yerevan

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The recent fatal incident on the Nakichevan border was evidently a Turkish-Azerbaijani attempt to escalate tension in the run-up to the Genocide centennial, says Vardan Devrikyan, an Armenian literary critic and a veteran the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
“The closer we are to the Genocide centennial, the more Turkey will use Azerbaijan as a second front to distract attention,” he told reporters on Saturday, calling for a higher degree of attention to the Turkish factor.
Devrikyan said he doesn’t think that the choice of location was accidental given that the situation on the Armenia-Nakichevan Contact Line has always been relatively calm.
“Armenia thus experienced the breath of war, as the shootings were closer to Yerevan,” he said, noting that the Nakichevan Line of Contact is not limited to an Armenian-Azerbaijani border.Larisa Alaverdyan, a former ombudsman also attending the news conference, said the periodic shootings against the border villages of Tavush have come to be perceived as something ordinary in Armenia, with the repeated violations of ceasefire on the Nagorno-Karabakh Azerbaijan Contact Line not catching any attention at all.“The government bodies’ behavior forces the defense and security agencies to shoulder the entire burden. But the question has to be included into international organizations’ agenda,” she said.Alaverdyan added that Armenia’s failure to respond to the statements by James Warlick, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, put the country in a position of a guilty side that appears unable to resort to any resistance.
“We too, have the right to speak about the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the language of international law. We must never have our heads down whenever an ignorant politician addresses a letter which is later read out by another politician who is equally illterate,” said the former ombudsman, referring to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s letter which president Norsultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan read out at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council’s recent summit in Astana (in the letter, the Azerbaijani leader said Armenia has to make reference to internationally recognized borders when acceding to the Eurasian Economic Union – Ed).Alaverdyan added that Azerbaijan seems to be taking advantage of the situation in Ukraine and Syria where, she said, violence against civilians has gone unpunished. “Azerbaijan seems to be getting a carte-blanche, seeing those countries’ example,” she said. 

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.