Armenian opposition holds demonstration in capital despite ban

Armenian opposition holds demonstration in capital despite ban

Associated Press Worldstream
June 4, 2004 Friday

YEREVAN, Armenia — About 5,000 anti-government protesters defied an
order by the mayor of the Armenian capital and held a rally Friday,
the latest in a two-months-long series of protests aimed at forcing
the resignation of President Robert Kocharian.

Such protests have aimed at galvanizing dissatisfaction over the
country’s poverty and over the alleged fraud in elections that brought
Kocharian a second term last year.

Authorities have tolerated some of the demonstrations, but one
gathering in front of the presidential palace was broken up forcefully
by police. The mayor of Yerevan forbid holding a protest on Friday,
but the gathering went ahead.

“At the same time that the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe called on the Armenian authorities not to hinder peaceful
actions by the opposition, the mayor just forbid demonstrations,”
said an opposition leader Albert Bazeian.