EP Adopts Resolution Calling On RA Authorities To Lift Emergency Rul


14.03.2008 17:39 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "In the wake of the presidential elections in Armenia
on 19 February, a police crackdown against opposition supporters who
were peacefully contesting the results left eight dead and dozens
injured. A state of emergency was declared on 1 March and media
freedom has been restricted," says a European Parliament’s resolution,
adopted by 60 votes to 1 with 2 abstentions.

The resolution deplores the loss of life, urges all parties to act
responsibly and calls on the authorities to investigate the violence
and take other measures.

The International Election Observation Mission stated that the
elections were "administered mostly in line with OSCE and Council
of Europe commitments and standards" but also identified a number of
concerns, in particular concerning the media’s commitment to providing
impartial information.

In the resolution, Parliament "expresses its concern at recent
developments in Armenia" and "calls on all parties to show openness and
restraint, to tone down statements and to engage in a constructive and
fruitful dialogue aimed at supporting and consolidating the country’s
democratic institutions".

It also calls "for a prompt, thorough, transparent, independent and
impartial investigation of the events of 1 March" and "for all those
responsible to be brought to justice and punished for misconduct and
criminal acts of violence". The Council and Commission should offer
EU assistance to help with the investigation.

The Armenian authorities are asked to lift the state of emergency,
restore media freedom and take all measures necessary to ensure a
return to normalcy. In addition, they are urged "to release citizens
detained for exercising their right of peaceful assembly".

Parliament points out that the EU’s Action Plan with Armenia
under the European Neighborhood Policy covers the strengthening
of democratic structures and the rule of law. In this context,
it urges the Commission "to focus its assistance to Armenia on the
independence of the judiciary and the training of police and security
forces" and calls on the Armenian authorities "to implement swiftly
all the remaining recommendations made by the International Election
Observation Mission", the EP press service reports.