On December 13 Nikol Pashinian, Chief Editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, who serves his sentence at “Artik” penitentiary since the end of November (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, November 26 – December 2, 2010), made a statement about the vital violations of his rights at prison. This information was provided by the lawyer of the journalist, Vahe Grigorian. Nikol Pashinian particularly noted that he is deprived of the right to exercise his professional activities, to consult his lawyer in private and to be in correspondence with relatives. As the journalist said, everyday he hands an envelope with an article to the prison administration, but “Haykakan Zhamanak” does not receive it. Nikol Pashinian stressed that on December 7 the representative of “Artik” penitentiary advised him to stop writing letters, “as they will not be sent anyway”. In the press release, December 16, of RA Ministry of Justice the allegations of Nikol Pashinian were considered as untrue. As the Ministry assures, he enjoys the same rights as the other prisoners.
As it has been reported, on January 19, 2010 the court of first jurisdiction found Nikol Pashinian guilty in mass riots of March 1, 2008 in Yerevan, and sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment. On March 9, 2010 the Criminal Court of Appeal, by applying an amnesty on Nikol Pashinian, cut down his unexpired term of imprisonment by half. Since the beginning of November a number of incidents happened to the journalist, which excited public criticism and actions to support Nikol Pashinian – both in Armenia and abroad (see YPC Weekly Newsletter of November-December 2010).