Mourad Papazian, center forefront, leading an April 24 demonstration in France (photo Jean Eckian)

Mourad Papazian, Co-president of Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF), Banned from Armenia

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PARIS — On July 13, Mourad Papazian landed in Yerevan on an Air France plane to go to a quarterly meeting of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF – Dashnaktsutiun/Tashnagtsutiun), of which he is a leader in France. As soon as he arrived on Armenian soil, the co-president of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) CCAF was arrested by the police and sent back on July 14 (the French national holiday) on an Air France plane to Paris.

Papazian does not really explain this action by the Armenian authorities. He evokes his “democratic right to criticize Pashinyan’s action,” in particular the “rapprochement between Yerevan and Ankara.” But also he notes it is an “operation to weaken the CCAF.”

Mourad Papazian (photo Jean Eckian)

Papazian is waiting for Yerevan to provide him with the clear explanations that led to his banning from Armenian soil. Could there be a cause and effect here: In June 2021, the ARF in France, led by Papazian, organized an attack on the vehicles accompanying Prime Minister Pashinyan during his visit to France.

 

Below Papazian delivers his feelings following his deportation outside the Armenian borders.

“Arrived yesterday in Yerevan, I learned that I was banned from staying in Armenia.

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Dear friends,

It is with immense pain that I inform you that last night I was banned from returning to Armenia. By order of the Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, I am persona non grata in Armenia. The Armenian police accompanied me on the Air France plane at 5:20 a.m.

As soon as I arrived in Yerevan, I was arrested, placed in a small room, then in a transit zone. And my confiscated passport. I knew that I was banned from Turkey and Azerbaijan. Today, I am banned from Pashinyan’s Armenia.

After 40 years of hard work in favor of Armenia and the Armenian cause, sometimes at the risk of my life, finding myself in this situation hurts very, very badly. This decision by Nikol Pashinyan is one more demonstration that he is not up to the responsibilities incumbent on him. Pashinyan is strong when he asks his police to expel an activist of the Armenian cause. Can you imagine this little leader discussing with Erdogan or Aliyev? Sooner or later, the people of Armenia will understand that they will have to get rid of this leader who is doing everything to weaken Armenia. The diaspora will also understand. And then, the best will still be possible! But it’s time to say stop!”

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