Opposition say over 250 arrested, “junta in its death throes”

Armenian opposition say over 250 arrested, “junta in its death throes”

Mediamax news agency
12 Apr 04


MP Viktor Dallakyan, member of the opposition Justice bloc, said in
Yerevan today that “the Armenian authorities are deliberately
heightening tension in the country. It will be them who will bear the
responsibility for a possible negative outcome.”

Speaking at a briefing at the headquarters of the People’s Party
today, Dallakyan said that some 250 people had been “unlawfully
detained” over a sit-in and protests on Freedom Square.

Dallakyan said that Tatul Manaseryan and Vardan Lazarian, MPs of the
Armenia’s National Assembly from the Justice faction, were taken to
police station today. The two intend to get in touch with the speaker
of the National Assembly, Artur Bagdasaryan, and demand that measures
be taken to free them, Dallakyan said.

“Such acts by the authorities testify to the fact that the junta is in
its death throes,” he said. The leaders of the Justice bloc have sent
a letter to Council of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer, and
to the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe, Peter Schieder.

The letter mentions “illegal acts by the authorities against peaceful

Another member of the Justice faction, Shavarsh Kocharyan, today
accused the Armenian authorities of carrying out “the policy of state
terror against their own people”. He said that the authorities have
consistently ignored the constitution which entitles its citizens to
stage peaceful rallies and marches.

The speakers told the briefing that the opposition’s decision to stage
a rally and march to the presidential residence today at 1600 [0900
gmt] remains unchanged.