Armenian opposition says police sweep up party members after rally
Apr 06, 2004
The opposition leader whose party organized a large protest meeting in
the Armenian capital said Tuesday that police detained 127 members of
his party after the demonstration and that many have been sentenced to
up to a week in jail.
Artashes Gegamian, head of the National Unity party, said the arrests
took place at the party members’ homes or the residences or parents
and friends and that police threatened the members’ relatives and
The arrests came after an estimated 8,000 protesters gathered in
“The deepening confrontations in society understandably makes the
people in power nervous,” he said Tuesday.
The opposition is seeking to oust President Robert Kocharian. He won a
second term in presidential elections a year ago that sparked mass
protests, including nearly daily demonstrations between the first
round of voting in February 2003 and the runoff in early March.
The opposition alleged widespread violations in both rounds of the
election. The election was followed by parliamentary ballot in which
the pro-government party won the most votes.
In April, Armenia’s Constitutional Court confirmed the results of the
presidential vote but suggested that a referendum be held within a
year to gauge the public’s confidence in the nation’s
leaders. Opposition leaders have pressed for the plebiscite.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress