YEREVAN — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has called on all Armenians to mark the 11th anniversary of the deadly repression of the 2008 postelection protests with “a powerful civil march” in Yerevan.
Pashinyan said in his live video statement on Facebook on February 21 that the March 1 event will be held in downtown Yerevan and will be dedicated to “the victory of the Armenian Citizen.”
“The march will be against violence, electoral fraud, corruption, lawlessness, and will prove that the victory of the Armenian citizen is irreversible…. We will honor the 10 people killed on March 1, 2008, as well as all the victims of political violence,” Pashinyan said.
The march is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. local time, Pashinian said.
On March 1-2, 2008, the Armenian government used force against opposition protesters who were challenging the official results of a presidential poll officially won by Serzh Sarkisian, a close ally of the outgoing president, Robert Kocharian.
Eight protesters and two police officers were killed in clashes between security forces and protesters.
The former Armenian authorities accused the Ter-Petrosian-led opposition of organizing the “mass disturbances” in a bid to seize power. Dozens of Ter-Petrosian allies, including Pashinyan, were subsequently jailed on charges strongly denied by them.
Pashinyan became prime minister last year following peaceful protests that he spearheaded, ousting Sarkisian and severely weakening the establishment that had been in place in Armenia since Kocharian’s rule.
Kocharian is currently under arrest. He was charged with illegally ordering security forces to use force against opposition supporters in 2008.