On March 27 a statement of the Commission on Early Release was published. It
was on the rejected petition on the release on parole of Arman Babajanian, Chief
Editor of “Zhamanak” daily. As it has been reported, on March 20, Arman Babajanian
(sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment for document fraud to avoid compulsory
military service) was refused an early release for the fourth time. On March
23, a number of media heads considered the refusal unlawful, noting that, according
to the vote results of the Commission members, the petition was secured, but
further “the minutes of the session were changed” (see details in YPC Weekly
Newsletter, March 20-26, 2009).
Rejecting all claims raised towards them, the Commission explained that on the
session of March 20, 18 from 74 petitions of the convicts on early release were
secured. The ones of the others, including Arman Babajanian’s, were refused.
At the same time, the Commission’s statement says, only two members of the Commission
voted for the early release of “Zhamanak” Chief Editor, and five – against it.
“The results of the vote were affirmed by the signatures of the Commission members.
Further changes in the minutes were excluded, as all the Commission members’
signatures are needed for that”, the statement notes, in particular. The Commission
on Early Release also stressed that its decisions can be appealed to the court
or to the prosecutor’s office, in case of any doubt in their lawfulness.