Opposition leader Nikol Pashinian, Nikol Pashinian, Sasun Mikaelian and Ararat Mirzoyan were released from custody on Monday as massive anti-government protests organized by them continued in Yerevan and other parts of Armenia.
The oppositionists were set free after meeting with First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetian at a detention site in the city’s southern Erebuni district.
Pashinian was mobbed by scores of supporters demonstrating in Erebuni. They chanted “Nikol!” as he marched with them towards the city center.
Pashinian said he will give details of his conversation with Karapetian at a rally that will be held in Republic Square in the evening.
Pashinian scheduled the “victorious rally” for 6:30 p.m. local time when he reached the square and briefly addressed a large crowd that gathered there. “It’s clear that we have won, right?” he said.
“I am now going to meet with Mr. Pashinian so that we negotiate and find a solution,” Karapetian said earlier in the afternoon after an emergency meeting with President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian.
Karapetian also told reporters that they decided to ask prosecutors to refrain from petitioning the Armenian parliament to allow the prosecution of Pashinian and two other opposition parliamentarians detained on Sunday. He did not comment further.
The oppositionists were detained on Sunday more than an hour after Pashinian held a short and tense meeting with Prime Minister Sarkisian which was meant to defuse the serious political crisis in Armenia. At that meeting held in the presence of journalists, Sarkisian rejected Pashinian’s demands for his resignation.