Free Nikol!

Nouritza Matossian, Free Speech Blog, 2 December 2010

Last time I wrote about an Armenian newspaper editor who was abused and persecuted for exercising his right to free speech, it was Hrant Dink  in Turkey, cruelly murdered for his courage and principles.

It is with horror that I am now writing to ring the alarm bell for another Armenian editor in Yerevan, Armenia.
 

Nouritza Matossian, Free Speech Blog, 2 December 2010

Last time I wrote about an Armenian newspaper editor who was abused and persecuted for exercising his right to free speech, it was Hrant Dink  in Turkey, cruelly murdered for his courage and principles.

It is with horror that I am now writing to ring the alarm bell for another Armenian editor in Yerevan, Armenia.
 

Nikol Pashinyan  is editor–in-chief of Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times). The 35-year-old journalist is a leader of Armenia’s National Congress movement.
Pashinyan was jailed in 2009 during the stormy protests in Yerevan that followed the hotly disputed February 2008 elections and is now serving a 47-month sentence. Despite warnings, he continued to write articles from jail protesting and opposing the present government.

The trial and imprisonment were criticised by Council of Europe, European Union, the United States Government and many other international organisations and foreign governments.

Pashinyan has been subjected to physical and psychological abuse in prison. He has been attacked four times in the last two months. According to reports on 17 November two masked individuals assaulted him while he was asleep. Even before they launched an investigation, prison authorities issued a statement denying the charge, saying that Pashinyan had dreamt it. The journalist presented them with evidence — his bed sheet with footprints of military boots and traces of blood.

Colleagues and editors of major Armenian newspapers and websites organised a protest action in Yerevan urging the Armenian authorities to stop the assaults against Nikol Pashinyan in prison and to release him immediately, running the headline “Free Nikol” on their front pages.

“We call upon our colleagues, journalists and human rights defenders worldwide to support us in our struggle for freedom and justice. We believe that actions of international solidarity will sober the Armenian authorities and empower Armenian civil society in its fight for Armenia without political prisoners,” says Isabella Sargsyan from Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Armenian Committee.

You can sign a petition for the release of Nikol Pashinyan [by clicking on]  Release Pashinyan

Nouritza Matossian is the Author of Black Angel, A Life of Arshile Gorky and director of the documentary Hrant Dink, Heart of Two Nations.

7 comments
  1. Pashinyan
    Our country needs freedom of speech whoever is voicing it  as long as the content isn’t abusive and a lie. We need to be strong and mature emough to withstand all types of valid criticism.

    Free pashinyan.

  2. Nouritza Matossian is clear and to the point

    As usual, Nouritza Matossian, the renowned writer and journalist is clear in her thoughts and to the point. Irrespective of what Pashinyan’s political views are, he should not only be heard but set free.

    An opposition view is an asset for any country that strives to transform itself into a humane and law abiding society. A country is strong when opposition partakes in the process of governing it, and deliberating openly about matters that concern the body politic.

    Drawing a parallel between Hrant Dink and Nikol Pashinyan is so powerful!

    Thank you Ms. Matossian.

    Noubar

    1. Actions speak louder than words
      One can’t but agree with your thoughts, dear Noubar. However actions speak louder than words. Best regards to you, dear Compatriot.

  3. Unwarranted Parallel

    Nouritza,

    I never imagined I would be writing to you on this forum. I purchased and read your book – Black Angel. What fascinated me was your description of Arshille Gorky’s childhood in idyllic Van. From thence the reading unfolded.

    However, I respectfully disagree and differ with the parallel your drew between Nikol Pashinyan and Hrant Dink.

    Agos is not an opposition paper. It is a bilingual community paper with a wide spectrum of readers. Hrant Dink did not take a position against a government and its elected officials but opposed specific laws of the county, irrespective of its government. Hrant Dink for all I knew of him was not a polarizing figure. He advocated understanding and scholarship to foster tolerance and understanding.

    I cannot think of anyone else among our post genocide generation, of the last five decades at least, to whom the people bestowed such esteem and acclaim as they did to Hrant Dink, especially after his tragic death. I wish you commented on Nikol’s case in its own merit without tying it to Hrant Dink.

    1. What Unwarranted Parallel?

      What "Unwarranted Parallel"? Nouritza Matossian literally wrote – "Last time I wrote about an Armenian newspaper editor who was abused and persecuted for exercising his right to free speech, it was Hrant Dink in Turkey, cruelly murdered for his courage and principles." Both were Armenian newspaper editors, cruelly abused and persecuted for exercising their rights to free speech, weren’t they? Both were persecuted for their views, courage and principles. Only that Nikol Pashinyan is alive yet kept as hostage in the prisons  managed by […]
      .
      My most respected Vano Siradeghyan who is unfortunately not [known] to most Diaspora Armenians, pathetic victims of consistent Internal Tukbaijan propaganda, including the nephew of the author of "General Antranig & the Armenian Revolutionary Movement", had wrote about those "nationalists" who are keeping Nikol Pashinyan, Gharabagh War Heroes Sassoon Mikayelian & Sarkis Hatsbanian in prison (to the full satisfaction of Turkbaijan): "Aytbes cher varvi ankam tshnamin, na degh [email protected] toghner ir zorqin geragrelou hamar. Aytbes gvarvi miyayn yergrov antsnogh [email protected]…"
  4. Nikol Pashinyan
    Our tactics are totally wrong.

    There is an old English saying  "If you can’t beat them, then join the bastards!"

    Do what the Jews do, by infilterating in their enemies  camps,  as a friend,   and then start destroying them from within.

  5. Hrant Dink, Arshil Gorky, Keghart

    Thank you Nouritza for this trailer re Hrant Dink and his realistic, wise, positive thoughts on the eternal problem.

    Thank you Dr. Abrahamian for your excellent Keghart work. As said,  "Nature favors diversity and abhors unanimity, uniformity, centralization."

    We do well to question easy answers and instead tell our true stories in all their confusion and complexity. See Gorky’s bautiful soulfull work.

    You both have another friend in Chicago: Mike Adajian.

    Christmas 2010.

    Comments?

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