PACE co-rapporteurs urge restraint from all sides in Yerevan protests

The co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Armenia by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Axel Fischer (Germany, EPP/CD) and Sir Alan Meale (United Kingdom, SOC), have appealed to police as well as protesters to show maximum restraint in order to ensure that peaceful protests can take place unhindered, without them degrading into violence as happened on the evening of Monday 22 June.

The right to demonstrate peacefully must prevail, they stressed. They welcomed the release of those detained on 22 June and the reported agreement between the leadership of the “No Plunder Initiative” and the national police that has led to a de-escalation of the tensions in Yerevan.

At the same time, the co-rapporteurs expressed their concern at allegations of the excessive use of force and the purposeful targeting of journalists by the police when breaking up the protests on 22 June. These allegations should be impartially and transparently investigated, they said.

The co-rapporteurs are due to present an information note on their last visit to Armenia at a meeting of PACE’s Monitoring Committee on 3 September 2015 in Sarajevo.

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS