Hundreds of opposition supporters marched through central Yerevan on Friday to mark International Human Rights Day and reiterate opposition demands for the release of Armenia’s remaining “political prisoners.”
The crowd led by top representatives of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) chanted their names and also demanded President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation during the peaceful protest not hindered by the police.
Among the protesters were two opposition activists set free this month after spending more than two years in prison on charges stemming from the 2008 post-election violence in the capital. About a dozen other HAK loyalists remain behind bars.
“We are not leaving the streets. Our will and desire to achieve victory are not fading away,” Aram Manukian, a leading member of the opposition alliance, told the crowd at the end of the demonstration.
The regime against which we fight is now weakening and falling apart,” said Levon Zurabian, the HAK’s central office coordinator.
Both the organizers and participants claimed that Armenia’s current government is unwilling to improve its human rights record criticized by Western governments and watchdogs. “If the authorities are not elected, human rights will naturally be violated,” one man told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
“Under these authorities, our rights will never be protected,” said another protester. “We will get rid of them soon.”
Armen Harutiunian, the human rights ombudsman, similarly described the government’s rights record as “non-satisfactory” after meeting with students at a Yerevan public school on the occasion. He said that each year his office receives about 5,000 citizen complaints about various abuses allegedly committed by law-enforcement, judicial and other state bodies.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

\’The First Refuge and the Last Defense: The Armenian Church, Etchmiadzin, and The Armenian Genocide\’

Major Exhibit Issued by ANI, AGMA, and Assembly Available Online WASHINGTON, DC…

European Parliament Committee Calls for Freeze on Turkey EU Accession

BRUSSELS — Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs called…

History and Present of Armenian-German Relations Discussed in Berlin

BERLIN — On July 4, the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA)…

Nikolay Ryzhkov: Karabakh Can Become EEU Member After its Status is Determined

YEREVAN — Nikolay Ryzhkov, a senior member of the Council of the…