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Javakheti residents deprived of human rights2009-03-06 12:13
Georgian Ministry of Justice did not allow French lawyer Patrick Arapyan to defend Javakhetian prisoner Vahagn Chakhalyan (see photo). With a stroke of the pen the officials canceled the assurances of politicians both in a friendly attitude towards Armenia and loyalty to European values.
The letter from the Georgian Ministry of Justice addressed to Vahagn Chakhalyan's mother - Gayane Chakhalyan - had no justification why foreign lawyer's admission was denied. As the chairman of Mitk analytical center of Armenia Grant Melik-Shahnazaryan told GeorgiaTimes all necessary documents had been presented but the officials considered that involvement of the European lawyer in the court proceedings in the case of United Javakh movement leader, his father and junior brother was inappropriate.
Yerkir union of public organizations on repatriation and assimilation believes that the refusal is an evident and gross violation by Georgian authorities of the rights of Vahagn Chakhalyan and his family members guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. "This is another proof that the court proceedings over the Javakhk activist are totally political and moreover their progress is openly directed and coordinated by the Georgian authorities", - Yerkir statement goes. The union called on the international rights defending organizations to present adequate evaluation why the lawyer's registration was denied and to put pressure on Tbilisi.
Vahagn Chakhalyan and his family members were arrested in July 2008 following an explosion near the house of Akhalaki Police Chief Samvel Petrosyan and a subsequent murder of two policemen during the search. After that real raids against united Javakhk leaders began. One of the leaders, Gurgen Shirinyan, managed to escape before being arrested. In December he was sentenced in his absence to 17 years of imprisonment for "murder". Vahagn Chakhalyan and his family were accused of illegal possession and acquisition of arms, organization of mass disorders and resistance against the police.
Now the interests of the indictee are represented by Armenian citizen Stepan Voskanyan. Georgian legal agencies refused to defend Chakhalyan. As explained to GeorgiaTimes by Grant Melik-Shahnazaryan they simply don't want to get mixed up in a notorious case and spoil their relations with the authorities.
The European attorney's help according to Mitk became necessary after Voskanyan came across fragrant violations committed by the Georgian public justice. No fingerprint check of the arms found in the Chakhalyans' house has been carried out yet, it is not ascertained whether it was used for shooting at all.