ARF-D Urges President to Oversee Proshyan Murder Investigation

People protest outside the presidential residence in Yerevan (Photolure)

People protest outside the presidential residence in Yerevan (Photolure)

( YEREVAN — Seeing no justice for the murder of Proshyan Mayor Hrach Muradian, an Artsakh freedom fighter and a popular leader in the Kotayk Region, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation led hundreds, including villagers, to gather at the presidential residence to demand that President Serzh Sarkisian oversee the murder investigation, which has been stalled since April.

ARF-D Parliamentary bloc chairman Armen Rustamian reiterated the party’s insistence that Muradian’s murder was politically motivated, saying the bullet was directed at an individual who was successfully governing the village—a fact that did not sit well with his political opponents.

The ARF-D asserts that Muradian was at odds with local ruling Republican Party of Armenia members and other loyal to the government. The party says that Muradian received threats from individuals.

Hrach Muradyan

Hrach Muradyan

On April 2, Muradian was shot in front of the administrative offices of the Proshyan village in circumstances that remain unclear. A local resident, Arayik Petrosian, was arrested in the days following the murder but denies the charges.

Muradian’s relatives and supporters are insisting that the law enforcement officials are covering up the murder

A little more than a month after the murder, Muradian’s gravesite was defaced with graffiti and posters were anonymously posted around the village defaming the later mayor.

Rustamian added that Muradian’s murder on April 2 was the culmination of a criminal chain that had its start in 2009, when Muradian, an Artsakh war veteran, was elected to govern the village.

Given the slow pace of the investigation and the judicial obstacles that have taken place during the investigation process, the ARF-D is demanding that the President personally oversee the investigation and to apply all levers to ensure that justice has been served for the popular mayor.

The demonstrators protested that no concrete steps have been taken in the past seven months, and the people’s trust in the judicial system is, once again, being tested.

The presidential staff promised that the protest letter would be delivered to the president. Meanwhile, Rustamian pledged to continue the protests.

“It is unjust to accept the murder of a man, who has gone through the great liberation movement of Artsakh, but was murdered in his own village by an internal enemy,” said Rustamian.