5,000 Rally in Armenia Protest

5,000 Rally in Armenia Protest

Moscow Times
June 18 2004

The Associated Press YEREVAN, Armenia — Opposition leaders in Armenia
held the latest in a series of anti-government protests on Wednesday
and accused the authorities of trying to fool European human rights
representatives by easing a crackdown against opponents during
their visit.

About 5,000 people gathered in the capital for a protest in central
Yerevan, where speakers denounced the foreign and economic policies
of President Robert Kocharyan and his government.

Opposition leader Stepan Demirchyan said the authorities “imitated
democratic reforms” during a recent visit by representatives of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

An opposition party leader was released from jail the day the envoys
arrived in Armenia, and prosecutors dropped a criminal case against
an official of the same party the day they left, speakers said.

Wednesday’s protest was the first this year to be held with government