by Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier,
Armenia: ORO slams supporter arrest as persecution ahead of elections
The arrest of former Nagorno Karabakh military commander Samvel Babayan is a result of political persecution against supporters of Ohanyan-Raffi-Oskanian (ORO) alliance, which is unacceptable during the campaign, the bloc’s number 1, former defense minister Seyran Ohanyan told reporters on Monday, March 27.
Babayan who served as former minister of defence of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), the army commander of Liberation Army, was arrested with two others for smuggling Igla anti-aircraft missile system parts from Georgia, the Armenian national security service said.
“There has been pressure on our alliance during all this period,” Ohanyan said, adding that Babayan is their combat friend and supporter.
“We work through his lawyer who says there is no evidence based on the information collected so far. If there’s no evidence, I believe the arrest denotes political persecution against Samvel and our alliance.”
Also, Ohanyan ruled out the possibility of his own arrest, describing similar remarks as disinformation.
Babayan is an active supporter, but not a member of Ohanyan-Raffi-Oskanian bloc, which is led by Ohanyan and two former foreign ministers – Raffi Hovannisian and Vartan Oskanian.
Democrats see persecution of Muslims in the U.S. more than that of Christians in Islamic world: Poll
By Bradford Richardson – The Washington Times – Tuesday, February 7, 2017
A majority of Democrats believe Muslims are mistreated in the United States because of their faith, but fewer will say the same thing about Christians living in the Islamic world, a new poll shows.
Fifty-six percent of Democrats say Muslims living in the U.S. are mistreated due to their faith, a Rasmussen poll released on Tuesday shows. That view is shared by 22 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of unaffiliated voters.
Fewer Democrats, 47 percent, believe Christians living in the Islamic world are persecuted over their faith. That’s compared to 76 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of unaffiliated voters.
Last year, former Secretary of State John Kerry said Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East are victims of genocide at the hands of the Islamic State terror group.
A majority of Americans, 62 percent, believe Christians are treated unfairly in the Islamic world because of their faith. Seventeen percent say they disagree, while 21 percent are undecided.
Russian businessman in Nagorno-Karabak over persecution fears
The billionaire had been facing persecution in Russia since 2011 for his text-book entitled “From [Ivan] the Terrible to Putin”; increasing threats over the recent period made him take a snap decision to leave his house in the Moscow area and head to Belarus. There he made up his mind to settle in Nagorno-Karabakh. Sterligov called his wife, Alena, and also warned an aide, Polina Sirota, of an imminent danger.
The businessman, who is the founder of the commodity exchange Alisa, had earlier escaped an attempted assassination and kidnapping of his children.
He unveiled details of his recent activity at a news conference held in Shushi (Nagorno-Karabakh) earlier today. Report Tert.am
Sterligov dismissed the hot news headlines in the Russian media describing him as a beneficiary and leader of a nationalist organization. He said the reports were absolutely baseless and untrue.
“And by the way, that lie hit the headlines five years after the events that are now being talked about. And the people [who spread it] are in detention and thousands of kilometers away from one another. Those are people whom I have never known,” he said, adding that the nationalist organization came to his attention only a week ago
The businessman said he knew only one person – an editor of a religious group run newspaper – from the organization, who requested money from him several years ago.
He added that the tens and thousands of people whom he hosted in his house were never required to bring any identity document.
The businessman did not rule out the possibility that some of the guests might have been followers of different faiths and beliefs, including sodomites. But he said he is sure he never gave them food or drink.
Sterlogov said that his belief is Orthodox Christianity.
He added that before adopting the religion, he funded the projects Deed and Word and Russian House, motivated purely by patriotic and nationalistic sentiments. Sterligov said he later ruled out all kinds of pseudo-religious concepts, considering the Bible the only source of belief.
Sterligov’s lawyers have told him that the case against him is based on fabricated evidence.
Going back to the roots of the story, Sterligov said that the scandals date back to 2011, a period when the Russian opposition was preparing for a big demonstration to demand President Vladimir Putin’s resignation.
As the demonstrations didn’t succeed, and Putin remained Russia’s leader, many turned away from Sterligov after the textbook was published. He said that he kept boldly resisting all kinds of threats until the moment he felt the threat against his children and house. He said that the attempts to kidnap his children and set his house on fire have developed the criminal image of his personality in the Russian media, describing him as a mastermind behind assassinations and a nationalist leader who fled from the country. “It was in Belarus that we made the decision to go to Karabakh,” he added.
At the end of the news conference, the businessman showed an air ticket, saying that he is leaving for Russia on Thursday without his family to dispel the suspicions that he avoids justice.
“I will stay there for a couple of days and then return. I like it here. I will leave to avoid creating problems for my friends who might be accused of being my accomplices. Should they decide to detain me, they will, if not, I will be back. The important thing is to leave my family in a safe place,” he added.
The businessman further said that he has his own vision of developing the second Armenian republic. He proposed particularly putting into circulation golden and silver coins in the country.