Presentation of Saakashvili’s book repeatedly cancelled in Armenia
A book presentation of the Armenian translation of the former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s autobiographical work ‘Awakening of the Force’ has again been cancelled in Armenia.
The book presentation was supposed to have been held at the Yeghishe Charents House Museum, but the museum management canceled the event. Later, a book presentation which was scheduled to take place at the Noyan Topan bookstore was also canceled.
Mikayel Nayapetyan, who translated Saakashvili’s book into Armenian, reported that the arrangements for both presentations had been made in advance. However, they were canceled at the last moment for different reasons.
According to Nayapetyan, a bookstore official told him that the book store director flat out refused to hold the presentation and sell the book in his store in order to avoid possible problems. Meanwhile, the museum management cited some technical problems as a reason for their refusal.
Nayapetyan claims that both refusals were made under pressure, that they were politically motivated and aimed to prevent the public from familiarizing themselves with the book’s contents.
“It’s outright and direct censorship,” said the translator.
Some Armenian social media users posted negative comments about Saakashvili on the event’s Facebook page, referring to him as an anti-Armenian politician who had sent several ethnic Armenians from the Javakheti region to jail. They claim therefore that his book shouldn’t have been translated into Armenian.
As for the Armenian leadership, President Serzh Sargsyan, who hosted Mikheil Saakashvili in 2009, awarded him with the Order of Honor for his contribution to consolidating the centuries-old Georgian-Armenian friendship and strengthening bilateral cooperation. The Order of Honor is the highest Armenian state award which is granted to foreign citizens.