Regnum, Russia
Oct 14 2006

The democratic alliance United Javakhk [Georgia's Armenian-populated Samtskhe-Javakheti region] reports that a member of the alliance's board, Vaagn Chakhalyan, who on 10 October was subjected to a brutal attack when entering Yerevan and received serious body injuries, was arrested the next day by employees of the Armenian National Security Service (NSC). A statement issued by the alliance says: "Introducing themselves as members of the police department, they tricked Vaagn Chakhalyan into coming to the police station as a victim, but then took him to a National Security Service isolation cell and arrested him.

Ridiculous charges were levelled against him about illegally crossing the Armenian state border. On 13 October, with the same ridiculous charge, the court of the first instance of the Yerevan communities of Tsentr and Nork-Marash gave permission to sentence Vaagn Chakhalyan to two-months' preventive detention." "It is especially outrageous that instead of investigating the violence meted out against Vaagn Chakhalyan, members of his family and a member of the alliance, Gurgen Shirinyan, fabricated accusations are being made against the victim. This incident is clear testimony to a direct link between the violence committed against Vaagn Chakhalyan and his subsequent arrest, as well as the fact that certain forces issued an order. The people of Javakhk are extremely angry about the news from Yerevan. The United Javakhk is concerned that subsequent events could lead to dangerous and unpredictable developments.

"Vaagn's absence and further consistent attempts to disband the alliance by brutal methods are a severe blow to the present system which is ensuring stability in Javakhk, in which the United Javakhk, thanks to the universal support of the population, is playing a decisive role. Well-known forces and criminal channels are striving to ensure a monopoly on demonstrations on behalf of the Armenians of Javakhk, and by their irresponsible and provocative actions are creating a serious threat to stability in the region. "The alliance hopes that all interested forces, and the Armenian authorities in particular, will adopt a more sensible decision in relation to these forces who can lead to a destabilization of the region and cause serious damage to Armenian-Georgian interstate relations," a statement of the political force from the Armenian-populated region of Georgia, Samtskhe-Javakheti, says.