PACE Monitoring Committee Concerned About Continuing Arrests In Arme


2008-03-19 10:49:00

ArmInfo. Meeting in Paris on 18 March 2008, the Monitoring Committee of
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) expressed
its deep concern about the arrest of more than one hundred people
in Armenia and the conditions in which such arrests took place,
following the events of 1 March during which eight people died and
some two hundred persons were injured, CE press-service reports.

The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe (PACE) following a recent return visit to Armenia by John
Prescott says that the current crackdown on the opposition will likely
not ease tensions in the country, but its general proposals seem well
placed to do so.

The committee was informed by its envoy John Prescott of the main
conclusions arising from his fact-finding mission to Yerevan, on 7
and 8 March 2008, and called on all sides to accept Mr Prescott’s
proposals aimed at resolving the current crisis, in particular:the
recognition by all sides of the authority of the Constitutional Court
and its ruling on the outcome of the Presidential elections;

the lifting of the state of emergency and the restoring of individual
human rights and freedoms;

the release of all jailed activists who have not committed violent

the establishment of an independent inquiry into the circumstances
that led to the events on 1 March 2008 and

the monitoring of the on-going investigation process;

the initiation of a dialogue between all political forces, in

the following areas:

– reform of the electoral framework with a view to regaining public
trust in the conduct and outcome of elections;

– reform of the political system with a view to providing a proper
place for the opposition in the decision-making process and governance
of the country;

– media reform, especially aimed at the creation of a truly independent
public broadcaster.

The Monitoring Committee noted that the dialogue between all political
forces could be initiated in the form of round tables under the
aegis of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. The committee
welcomed the fact that all political group leaders in the Assembly
have requested that a debate under urgent procedure be held on the
functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia during the April
part-session of the Assembly (14-18 April 2008).