AKHALKALAK (A-Info)—At midnight on June 12, Armenian teachers from Javakhk who were scheduled to attend a one-month training seminar in Armenia received phone calls from Georgia’s National Security Agency summoning them to a meeting the following morning.
The teachers, who were chosen to attend the seminar on the Armenian Church, were told the next day that they did not have permission to go to Armenia and were threatened with severe consequences—loss of job and punishment—if they disregard the NSA’s decision.
The teacher training program, which is a joint effort between the Diocese of Javakhk and the Armenian Education Ministry, trains 150 teachers from Samtskhe-Javakheti about the Armenian Church. This year the number was split in two, with the first group scheduled to begin training on June 15.
“It begs the questions that what aspect of the law allows the interference by the National Security Agency into educational matters,” said an announcement by Armenians of Javakhk.
“We, the Armenians of Javakhk, severely condemn the actions of the Georgian National Security Agency and ask the President of Armenia to address this issue during his meeting with the president,” added the announcement.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is scheduled to begin an official two day visit to Armenia on Wednesday.
“This proves that when Georgian officials claim that rights of the Armenian living in Georgia are not being violated, they are, for a lack of a better word, lying,” concluded the announcement.
The midnight phone call and the subsequent reprimand from the Georgian authorities, reportedly has scared the teachers to a point that they refusing to even enter their Armenian Church.