On July 15 the RA Human Rights Defender Larisa Alaverdian addressed the RA General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepian with a request to consider the issue of how appropriate the custody of Teresa Asatrian, the employee of the Armenian Writers Union press-center, member of the Journalists Union of Armenia, is. As it has been reported, according to the press-release of the Public Relations and Information Departments of the RA General Prosecutor’s Office, Theresa Asatrian was detained on the charge of attempted cheating (cl. 2 p. 2 Art. 34-178 of RA Criminal Code) and involvement in bribery (cl. 1 p. 3 Art. 38-312 of RA Criminal Code). As reported in the press-release of the General Prosecutor’s Office, on May 17, 2005 Theresa Asatrian provoked the notary of Vanadzor notary region Arusiak Azarian to give a bribe of $ 3,500 to prevent the submission to the court of the materials against the notary gathered by the RA National Security Service, and the publication of a revelatory article written by the journalist herself. On June 4 the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan assigned arrest to be the preventive punishment of Theresa Asatrian (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 3-9, 2005).
According to the appeal of Theresa Asatrian to the Ombudsman, in the preventive punishment selection her health condition and her two minor children were not taken into account. The grounds for Ombudsman’s addressing the General Prosecutor were also the report on the visit of the Fast Response Group of the Human Rights Defender’s Office to Theresa Asatrian, detained at the Criminal Execution Institution “Yerevan-Kentron” of the RA Ministry of Justice. This was stated on July 20 by the Department of Information and Public Relations of the RA Human Rights Defender’s Office.
Previously Theresa Asatrian addressed Journalists Union of Armenia and Helsinki Committee of Armenia requesting to make a motion of changing her preventive punishment. JUA and HCA on their behalf sent corresponding letters to the General Prosecutor.