Saturday, October 31, 2009

Visits from an Armenian political prisoner and editor of Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos

In the last week, we've had two memorable events take place at the news agency where I work: (1) a visit from former just-released Armenian political prisoner Tigran Arakelian and (2) a visit from Agos editor Aris.

Tigran Arakelian is much much shorter than he appears in the photos we posted on our site (and that probably appeared in other local media). He is young and thin, and was charged with assaulting not one, but three police officers. Any person in their right mind could tell this short, small — no, petit — young man would be unable to resist three, assumingly large, police officers. And no offense to short or small people; I'm not saying short people can't overtake tall people. I'm talking about this particular case and the charges against him... and let's not forget, police officers have guns, or at least batons, while very rarely do activists have such weapons.

For more background on what happened in the case of this Armenian National Congress youth member, read Onnik Krikorian's August 15, 2009 article on Frontline Club at

The second visit (which happened to be today) was by Agos editor Aris. Agos is a weekly newspaper published in Istanbul, Turkey, one of the only Turkish-language publications in the country that includes an Armenian-language supplement. Agos is perhaps better known for having Hrant Dink as its chief editor from its inception in 1996 till Dink's assassination outside the newspaper's offices in January 2007. The paper now has an English edition available online at

Needless to say, it was an honour and privilege to meet both Tigran Arakelian and Aris.

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