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Friday, 2018-10-19, 6:36 AM
Main » Articles » Political prisoners

Mr. Ashot Manukyan

Ashot Manukyan, 63, on 12 December was sentenced to 5 years in prison for daring to stand up for a free and decent country. Obviously, his family is devastated, but at least we have the moral victory. As the U.S. official who has attended the trials stated:

Ashot Manukyan was one of the first people to organize the Karabagh Movement. He was instrumental in finding the resources to make sure that the Artsakh citizens and the Armenian citizens living in the border areas were able to defend themselves.

Time line.

December 12: Ashot Manukyan is sentenced to 5 years in prison.

December 5: Today they had the defense summations. According to a American who attended, Mr. Manukyan was quite eloquent in his closing statement. There were about 35 of his supporters in the audience. The judge adjourned the case until next Friday, Dec. 12. Those following the case think the judge will most likely find him guilty and give him 2.5 or 3 years in jail.

November 27: Prosecution recommends a 6 year sentence. Trial set to resume December 5th.

November 20: Political Prisoners on hunger strike. Trial postponed indefinitely.

November 13: Trial delayed until November 20th

November 7: Trial delayed until November 13th

November 3: Trial delayed until November 7th.

October 29: Defense attorney calls in sick, trial postponed until November 3rd.

October 23: Trial postponed until October 29th.

October 15: The defendant is also charged with organizing an unauthorized illegal public demonstration. The court heard testimony from one witness, an individual who had previously pled guilty to a crime relating to the March 1 incident. He had received a suspended sentence for his own conviction. In a series of investigation statements (before trial) the witness stated that he had received approximately $60 from the defendant and that the witness had used the money to bus people into Yerevan for the unauthorized demonstrations at the direction of the defendant. At the trial the witness stated that he had received money from the defendant as part of LTP's campaign, but that the defendant never directed him to use the money for the demonstrations. Unfortunately, the judges in Armenia often base guilty verdicts on pre-trial investigation statements even where the witness comes into court and recants on his prior statement. The court was to hear from two other witnesses. One failed to show up and the other is incarcerated. The court is attempting to bring the incarcerated witness to the trial. The defense counsel made a motion to release Mr. Manukyan but the court denied the motion. The trial to resume Oct. 23.

October 6: Trial postponed at the last minute due to lack of prosecution witnesses.

September 17: Two witnesses testified – both police officers. One testified as the "victim" and the other as a "witness". Per a US official who attended the trial: "The bad news is that this case clearly demonstrates, even assuming that the defendant is completely guilty, that the authorities are out to get him. He took part in the demonstration and he (allegedly) threw a rock that hit a cop in the foot. Minimal injury at worst. This is really no big deal".

September 9: The defense attorney made a motion to disqualify the two prosecutors working on the case. That motion was denied by the judge. The case is moved to the higher felony and adjourned to Sept. 17 to hear from the victim / police officer.

July 29: The prosecutor seeks an adjournment to upgrade the charges to more serious felonies, punishable by 5 to 10 years imprisonment. At the prosecutor's request the court adjourned the case for four weeks.

July 15: After 4 months in 'pre-detention', a trial date is finally scheduled. The court date is later canceled at the last minute due to lack of witnesses.

March 1: Ashot Manukyan is beaten and arrested at dawn after 11 days of peaceful protest of a corrupt election. He is taken to Nubarashen detention center and not allowed to see his family for over a month – until his wounds heal.


Category: Political prisoners | Added by: ma (2008-12-27)
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