Reasons advanced for
which the person concerned could be regarded as a political prisoner:
Harutiun Urutian, who was coordinating Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s campaign offices in MaralikCity, north-western
Shirak marz, during the Armenian Presidential Elections, was among more than
100 opposition leaders and members arrested following the February 19 election.
He was charged with assaulting Mr. Suren Avetisyan, a proxy of Serzh Sargsyan,
at 36/34 precinct and thereby obstructing the work of the election commission
on the Election Day.
Mr. Urutyan denies all charges and
testifies that on February 16 their staff received Voting lists were they found
196 extra voters from GyumriCity registered as locals.
On the Elections day, at about 11:30 he and two other proxies, registered as in
36/34 precinct got an alarm from the said precinct, that those voters from GyumriCity
have been transferred to MaralikCity for multiple voting.
To check the situation Mr. Urutyan went to the said precinct were he saw large
crowd of locals around the polling station angry with the fact of bringing
extra voters from neighbouring City and a group of 50-60 persons from Gyumri.
He took from them 10 passports which were marked with similar adhesive tapes on
the back side and requested those persons to leave the precinct. He also asked
other proxies present there to be more attentive to such violations. On his way
out from the precinct Mr. Urutyan met the "victim", Mr. Suren
During the electoral campaign Mr. Suren
Avetisyan, previously condemned for electoral fraud, has been campaigning for
candidate Sargsyan in MaralikCity, and for this purpose
City Authorities granted him a working space in Municipality building. During
that period Avetisyan and his colleagues were also intensively using
Administrative power for influencing the results of the upcoming elections. At
that time this fact was brought to their attention by Mr. Urutyan.
According to Urutian he told Mr. Suren
Avetisyan, that they shouldn’t violate law and bring voters for multiple voting
from other places. Avetisyan offensively responded to Urutyans’ words. At that
moment someone pushed them from the back side and they both fall down. After
they stood up, Urutyan advised people around to be calm in order to avoid any negative
developments and left the precinct area. 4 hours later about 20 policemen came
to Levon Ter-Petrosyan’
electoral office and arrested him for heavily
assaulting Mr. Avetisyan.
Thus: Mr. Urutyan has witnessed and
registered the following violations of electoral legislation:
-Use of Administrative resource,
municipality space, for electoral campaign of Mr. Sargsyan, then Prime Minister
of RA and a candidate for presidency.
-Inconsistent behaviour of Serzh
Sarkisyan campaigners during the pre-electoral period
-He also registered deliberate
intent to falsify elections through manipulations with voting lists.
-At the Elections day he and his
colleagues witnessed and tried to impede the multiple voting.
Mr. Urutyan was firstly sentenced to 7
years of imprisonment. He dismissed all charges as politically motivated and
appealed against the verdict. Regardless all facts presented by the defence
lawyer, Tamara Yayloyan, who insisted during court hearings in Yerevan that Mr.
Urutyan is innocent and must be acquitted, the Court of Appeals only agreed to
shorten the ruling by one year, upholding the charges brought against the oppositionist.
Against Mr. Urutyan were testifying solely
three local police officers and a driver from the local police station, who,
nevertheless told that they have not seen Mr. Urutyan beating Mr. Avetisyan.
the pre-trial detention and court hearings all motions put forward by defence
lawyers were rejected by the Judge, while all motions of the accusation were
interrogations as well as the courts hearings were tried only witnesses of the