With the permission of his mother, Hetq speaks to Shahen, son of jailed dissident Shant Haroutyunyan. The political activist attempted to stage a “revolution” with several followers in November, 2013. Haroutyunyan was subsequently arrested and is now receiving medical care at a correctional facility awaiting trial.
Shant, how long is it that you haven’t seen your father?
I haven’t seen him since November 5 of last year. We are not allowed to telephone him. We receive news of his health from the lawyer and through the media.
Today is your 15th birthday. Will you celebrate as usual? What wish will you make when lowing out the candles on your birthday cake?
I’ve always celebrated my birthday with family and friends. Birthdays have always been a happy occasion for me, and today again I am glad to have such great parents. But I’m not happy. My father isn’t here with us.
I wasn’t planning to celebrate but my relatives surprised me and brought a birthday cake with the inscription ‘freedom to political prisoners’. That’s my wish, for no political prisoners in Armenia.
When there are no longer political prisoners in our country, and when my father is back home with us, then I’ll celebrate happier birthdays. Then I can play football like a normal kid.
I have one last request. Today is also the birthday of political prisoner Liparit Petrosyan. I call on everyone to send congratulatory postcards to him at the Noubarashen Prison.