GLENDALE–Hampig Sassounian–who has been serving a life sentence and whose case is up for retrial by the Los Angeles County District attorney–expressed his gratitude to the Armenian-American community for its continued solidarity with his case–during a live telephone interview Thursday on Horizon TV’s nightly newscast.
In response to questions posed by anchors Saro Nazarian and Arshalous Darbinian–Sassounian conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the community–which through letters–phone calls and attendance at events–has supported him during the two decades that he has been in prison.
"I am not the same person who entered prison at the age of 19. Right now I am 39 years old and have been able to endure this reality through the unwavering support of the community," Sassounian told the live television audience.
Sassounian said that the current facility in which he is being held is unkempt and compared to the regular prison–he does not have the same privacy–which he has enjoyed throughout the years.
He does not access to basic comforts–such as television–especially in a place "where there is no sky and no sun."
He explained that he passes his time by reading the Bible and the writings of Kirkor Naregatsi–which he said have multiplied his love for the Armenian people.
Sassounian said that his will has been strengthened through the countless letters and correspondence he has received–throughout the years–from supporters in Lebanon–Iran–Europe and the Americas. These letters have served as encouragement for Sassounian–who has been unjustly incarcerated for 20 years.
Sassounian expressed his gratitude not only to the Los Angeles Armenian community–but rather to Armenia’s throughout the world–who have supported his cause. He also exclaimed his satisfaction that a new generation of Armenia’s has fostered his cause and individuals who were not born when the 1982 events occurred were equally supportive as those who attended his trials and extended their solidarity.
"I dream of being united with our people and go to live in Armenia," said Sassounian–who urged the community to remain strong and be proud of their heritage as Armenia’s.
In closing he thanked Asbarez newspaper and Horizon Television for their continued assistance and support and urged the Armenian community to morally and financially support his case.
Individuals wishing to assist Sassounian in his defense of this politically motivated re-trial should send their contributions to The Sassounian Defense Committee (SDC) P.O. Box 5278–Pasadena–California–91117.