(in Russian / на русском — здесь)
(a translation in English is on its way and soon will be finished)
Interview of the editor of the «Miaban» web site Vahan Babakhanyan with a public figure, director of the Christian Churches Support Fund “International Christian Solidarity Fund” Dmitry Pakhomov (Moscow, not to be confused with the Christian liberal Democratic Movement “Solidarity”). This Fund carries out a very important public mission. Many events can be found on their Facebook page. In late February, Dmitry Pakhomov gave an interview on the topic of the Moscow Treaty, it is reflected on the «Miaban» web site.
March 23, 2020
— Good afternoon, Mr. Pakhomov. The public recently became aware of threats against you in connection with your human rights activities. Can you please tell me the details?
— Good afternoon. On March 22 at 13:07, fulfilling an order from Baku, an unknown criminal came to my private home and began to knock on the front door with his fist. Then he tried to break the door. He voiced threats to kill me.
— Did he explain the reasons for such his wild behavior?
— He shouted: “I came to kill you an Armenian henchman so that you would not leave for Karabakh, I will still break the door and go into the apartment, bitch.”
Photo on the left: with Boutros Ghali, sixth UN Secretary-General, Cairo, 2013.
Photo on the right: at a meeting with Kirill, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Moscow, 2009.
— Did you plan to go to Artsakh? (ed .: Armenian historical name of Karabakh)
— Yes, on March 31 there is the next presidential election and also the elections of the National Assembly. Elections are not new; they have been held regularly since 1994. The current fourth president is ending his term established by the Constitution and the people of the Republic of Artsakh will choose the fifth president from 12 candidates. It should be noted that many international observers stated that the Republic of Artsakh is a kind of leader in the region in terms of democracy and openness of the election process. It is as an observer that I plan to be in the current elections.
Photo on the left: at a meeting with former Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, Beirut, Lebanon, 2013.
Photo on the right: with the Coptic Patriarch Tovadros II, Moscow, 2015.
— Can every Russian citizen go as an observer to another country?
— No, not everyone. I received an official approval in the Russian Foreign Ministry to represent the interests of civil society of the Russian Federation as well as got an approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh.
Photo on the left: at a meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Istanbul, 2014.
Photo on the right: in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 2016.
— Mr. Pakhomov, what do you think about the criminal, de facto terrorist act and threats that occurred on March 22 against you?
— The man was specially sent to me. I have received threats before, and after March 22, they continue. The fact is that the Russian law enforcement bodies do not adequately respond to the criminal actions of those who, most likely, receive orders from Baku and practice them within Russia.
Violence against public figures in third countries has long been part of Baku’s state policy. Every other day, another new crime. Usually with third parties, hirelings and for a certain bribe. By the way, even from the side of very popular in Russia information agency «Regnum» four years ago it was noted about huge control from Baku over many Russian media. We often talk about foreign agents, referring to the West, Soros, etc. But for some reason, it is ignored the «fifth column» in Russia, which is in the service of Baku. This policy of the Baku authorities, seeing the impunity of their criminal acts in third countries, is only being further promoted.
I want to remind, that one of the most bloodthirsty atrocities was in 2004. Azerbaijani Ramil Safarov brutally killed a sleeping Armenian with an ax, was sentenced to life imprisonment in Hungary, later in 2012 he was bought out by Baku, awarded with medals and heroized in Azerbaijan. Many Azerbaijanis called their children by his name, being stupefied by the fascist ideology of the Azerbaijani authorities.
This was a kind of «finest hour» of brown (racist) forces in Azerbaijan, it was an impetus to new rounds of crimes.
Photo on the left: with a peacekeeping mission in Cairo, Egypt, 2014.
Photo on the right: with a peacekeeping mission in Damascus, Syria, 2012.
— I do understand. Who, if not the Armenians and other indigenous peoples of the whole Transcaucasus, should know about these crimes and the «brown» racist atmosphere in Azerbaijan, when the authorities poison the consciousness of their own citizens, their people, starting from kindergarten. Summarizing the experience of the genocidal behavior of Azerbaijan, one of the prominent scientists came to the conclusion about the key role of precisely external factors, which was described in detail in his article.
But I would like to ask your opinion, as a neutral person from the outside. Mr. Pakhomov, we all know that the Russian authorities took measures and back in May 2017, the large All-Russian Azerbaijan Congress was liquidated by a decision of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in May 2017. The appeal was rejected. Did that decision make a difference?
A recent case, on March 11 in Moscow, radical Azerbaijanis had an attempt to disrupt the screening of a new film about Artsakh. But this time they did not succeed. Do you think that threats and negative trends have been stopped in Russia?
Photo on the left: with Eugeny Plushenko, world known Russian figure skater, winner of the Olympic Games, Moscow, 2017.
Photo on the right: with presidential candidate Pavel Grudinin, Moscow, 2017.
— Unfortunately, no, the problems are not resolved. Conductors of brown forces regrouped. Basically, their provocations and crimes go still unpunished under the guise of their lobbyists at very many levels in Russia.
So, in February 2019, with the help of bribery, a well-known public figure was forcibly stolen by the special services of Azerbaijan, taken to Baku, where he has been in prison for more than a year. Now the process is being prepared at the ECHR «Aboszoda against Azerbaijan».
Another resonance also has another process — Lapshin v. Azerbaijan.
They stole another Russian activist Isaev from third country, Ukraine and also forcibly brought him to prison in Baku.
Another journalist was forcibly stolen from Georgia, who said: «Now there are almost 150 political prisoners in Azerbaijani prisons.» The authorities of Baku were forced to release this journalist from prison, as the journalist said on March 22, 2020: “The reason (of release) was a pressure from international organizations, the German state tried very hard for my release, and in the end, the authorities in Baku were forced to release me. Mostly I was supported by the European deputies. The German Embassy demanded that I be released. The United States Department of State also demanded my freedom, so I was released.»
— What do you plan to do in your case in connection with the wild terrorist threats of March 22?
— That day, being spotted by a neighbor, the offender ran away down the stairs. Of course, I applied to the police, they arrived in about 15 minutes. I passed certain information to law enforcement officers. This is not a minor episode, and I intend to use my constitunation right to figure out that officials who are behind that criminal man and who are orchestrating a terror. Given that the police in Russia sometimes is addictive with such cases, I do not intend to just rely on them. It’s not just about my personal life, about my family. We are talking about the systematic crimes of the «fifth column», which are hushed up in Russia. All this harms not only Russian-Armenian relations, but also the Russian state itself.
— I agree, Mr. Pakhomov. This glaring case of terror commissioned from outside with life-threatening threats against you must also be raised by the international community and the media. We see from our experience that this is important — a critical opinion from abroad affects both Russian officials, media and hirelings who service orders from Baku, it affects much more cooling than naive intelligent calls for prudence. Thanks for the interview. We will follow the development of events and, for our part, will provide all possible informational support in the common struggle against the forces of darkness.