During an interview with one of the media outlets which reportedly belong to him, Robert Kocharian, who has held the post of the president of Armenia for ten years, and is currently incarcerated on charges of abuse of power and bribery, says the following: “History knows very inspiring examples of political struggles that succeeded from prisons. I probably have a very important role to play in liberating the country from the vicious power that corrupts our national identity.”
With such statements, Kocharian once again comes to prove that he remains a person completely detached from reality.
Yes, there are many examples of political prisoners who pursued justice from their prison cells, but there is a huge difference between Kocharian and those figures who were able to inspire millions and lead them into achieving their goals for justice, democracy and independence. Chief among them was Nelson Mandela, the former president of the Republic of South Africa, who spent 27 years in jail fighting the apartheid regime of European settlers, who were ruling his country and suppressing the black majority. Mandela’s struggle ended in victory, culminating with his election as the head of the state. He was also a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. It is worth noting that in 1992, Mandela rejected the Ataturk Peace Prize because of human rights abuses in Turkey.
Myanmar’s current prime minister Aung San Suu Kyi, was under house arrest for 15 years and played a vital role in the state’s transition from military junta to partial democracy. Ms. Suu Kyi has also been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, two Indian leaders who fought against the British rule, spent time in prison.
If Kocharian has these well known figures in his mind and thinks that he can walk in their footsteps, he is mistaken. There is no comparison between him and those prominent leaders, because none of them ruled as an autocrat like he did. They have not accumulated enormous wealth stealing from the state, they have not falsified elections, they have not opened fire on peaceful demonstrators. On the contrary, they have sacrificed their own well being for their nation and as such, earned the admiration and worship of millions.
On the other hand, there are ample examples of former presidents, all over the world, who are currently serving prison sentences on charges of corruption or violence against their own people. Kocharian is one of the latter and he should not have any ambitions for returning to power or “liberating the country from a vicious power,” or else he will find the vast majority of the Armenian people standing against him, not just the government.