Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by David Stepanyan
"If Zhirayr Sefilyan again applies for citizenship of Armenia, we will weigh his application and adopt a decision," said Vigen Sargsyan, Head of the President's Staff in response to the question of Zaruhi Postanjyan, Head of the Heritage Party Faction in the Parliament.
Zhirayr Sefilyan, hero of the Karabakh war, former commander of Shushi battalion, citizen of Lebanon has no citizenship of Armenia. Zhirayr Sefilyan's applications for Armenian citizenship have been repeatedly rejected by the leadership of the country. Sefilyan himself considers this step of the authorities to be an attempt to hinder his participation in the elections in Armenia. The authorities rejected petitions from 20 honorable citizens of Yerevan for providing citizenship to Sefilyan.
"I'd like to recall that Sefilyan has not applied repeatedly for citizenship since the rejection of his first application. It is hard to give citizenship to a person who does not apply for it. It is like an old joke saying that to win, one needs to at least buy a lottery ticket," Sargsyan said.
In Dec 2006 Sefilyan was arrested over public calls of violent overthrow of the constitutional order and was kept in custody up to Sept 2008. Earlier this year Armenia lost 6055 euro at the European Court for Human Rights over the case "Sefilyan against Armenia." ECHR recognized Sefilan's phone bugging since the summer of 2006, his arrest and preliminary custody for 8 months as violation of the European Convention for Human Rights.