DEVELOPMENTS IN CENTRAL PRISON OF YEREVAN FROM 14 TO 18 FEBRUARY 1921 – 2015-3

New details concerning the crimes committed by Armenian revolutionary committee

Summary

Gevorg S. Stepanyan

Key words – Armenian Revolutionary Committee, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, the Cheka, arrest, Bandus, Vardan Tellalyan (V. Bakur), deprivation of liberty, Mushegh Aghayan, Hamazasp, Oliver Baldwin, hacked to death.

On December 2, 1920, at 13:00 the representatives of the government of Armenia Drastamat Kanayan (Dro) and Hambartsum Terteryan and the authorized representative of Soviet Russia – Boris Legrand signed an agreement consisted of an 8-points in Yerevan, by which the government of the country peacefully passed into the hands of Armenian Revolutionary Committee. According to the fourth and fifth points of the agreement, Russia and the Revolutionary Committee undertook not to use violence against the military structure, the former members of the government and the leaders of ARF Dashnaktsutyun. But the Bolsheviks did not fulfill any of the points of agreement, their aim was to carry out regime change by civil war, bloodshed and the class struggle. As a result of the ongoing violence and arrests, in February 1921, the Cheka prison, as well as a the military prison and the central prison of Yerevan were full of political prisoners. On February 14, the Cheka began secret extrajudicial executions at the prison of Yerevan, thus many Armenian intellectuals and prominent figures of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun fell victim to it. February 16-18 were the worst days in the central prison in Yerevan. Cheka decided to begin executions and massacres in the night from 16 to 17 February. Bloody holiday was personally headed by Avis Nurijanyan, Suleyman Nuri – Turk by nationality, S. Amirkhanyan and Tatar butcher of Hantari market in Yerevan, whose name was Tahir. At night from 17 to 18 February the central prison turned into a slaughterhouse, executions and murders with an ax were recommenced. Among the victims were such priceless Armenian heroes of the national liberation struggle and prominent military figures as Hamazasp (Srvandztyants), Nick. Ghorghanyan, Makedon Hakobjanyan, Vardan Tellalyan – officer from Sebastia and others. Regarding the number of dead prisoners some clarifying information is provided by Martiros of Bashgarni: According to the data of Chief Bureau of Kanaker district, 75 people were shot and hacked to death.

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