Letter of the National Bureau of the CCAF to Serge Sarkissian President of the Republic of Armenia
Mr. Serge Sarkissian
President of the Armenian Republic
Mr. President of the Republic,
The CCAF has followed with concern the violent events that have severely shaken the country, plunging the families of two police officers into mourning - to whom we offer our condolences - causing many casualties among the security forces and protesters and leading to numerous arrests.
Our role is not to interfere in the internal affairs of Armenia, let alone to take sides. Our unifying structure brings together a wide range of sensitivities and our approach toward Armenia is solely patriotic. We try to do everything in our power to support the nation, its government, its State, its constitution and its people. The independence of Armenia and its liberation from the Soviet dictatorship were lived with hope and enthusiasm by the entire Armenian world, especially in France. And it is on behalf of those feelings that we wish not only to share with you our concerns about the current situation, but also offer our contribution in order to help, if possible, the country resolve this difficult situation, to renew the dialogue, and to find paths of trust and unity.
We believe that the state could benefit from an organization like ours, which has the advantages of being both distant and independent from the acting forces, two factors that promote confidence, especially concerning elections, which is an endemic matter of discussion, or even dispute, and therefore disorder. As such, we welcome the agreement, supported by the European Union and reached by the political parties of the majority and the opposition; which aims, in view of upcoming legislative elections, to update the electoral lists through the distribution of new identity cards.
This major political event represents, in our view, a chance for the country to have a new start with a sound basis and in the framework of the parliamentary system that you initiated. It is feasible that the CCAF would contribute to this process by adding its forces to those of the EU or the CIS, by sending a number of observers from the Armenian community of France. It seems to us that a measure of this type, the terms of which should of course be defined, could have the multiple advantages of strengthening the integrity of the ballot, reinforcing confidence in the election, and bringing Diaspora and Armenia closer.
On the other hand, always concerned about national unity and to search appeasement, and in view of the violence that brought bloodshed to the country, we can not but call on all parties to use reason and restraint. However it seems to us that in the domain of citizenship, respect for the constitution and the law, it is up to the government first to set an example by ensuring its regulatory functions with respect to the order and security, but also by being the guarantor of freedom. This naturally involves addressing all accusations of injustices and police brutality, not allowing any improper arrest, and enforcing the rule of law. In this context, how not to be shocked by the decision of a judge to detain the activist of the Armenian cause Alec YÃ©nikomchian, whose physical condition is evidently incompatible with this imprisonment? The release of this Armenian from the Diaspora, coupled if necessary with placing him under judicial supervision, would be more consistent with the humanist values of Armenia, which you have exemplified by not allowing that the hostage-taking of July 17 ended for its authors in a bloodbath.
You know, and we'll agree with you on this point: only a virtuous respect for human rights and democracy is likely to reverse the cycle of violence and incivility. It is because we have faith in your patriotism, in your judgment, but also your ability to influence the situation, that we address you in order that Armenia, for which you have the tremendous responsibility to preside in these very difficult circumstances, would finally find the way to inner peace and confidence.
Please accept, Mr. President, the expression of our deep respect.
Mourad Papazian, Co-president of the CCAF
Ara Toranian, Co-president of the CCAF
The National bureau of the CCAF