Armenian civil society organisations call on Parliament to reconvene
28 July 2016

A number of Armenian civil society organisations have issued a public call asking for the Armenian Parliament to reconvene in the face of the current serious political situation in the country resulting from events around the Erebuni Police station where armed men continue to refuse to surrender, and daily public demonstrations in their support.

The statement reads:

"During the past few days the country, more specifically the city of Yerevan has been experiencing an increasingly tense situation with unpredictable consequences, pertaining to the armed opposition group titled “Daredevils of Sasoon,” which continues to occupy a Yerevan police station since July 17 and subsequent events.

Thousands of citizens have taken to the streets in support of the “Daredevils of Sasoon” and their demands, because the systematic corruption which dominates the nation, economic injustice, selective justice, incessant emigration, and continuously falsified elections have disillusioned all hopes of positive change in the country. The police of the Republic of Armenia have exercised excessive force and violence by dispersing the voluntary and peaceful gatherings of citizens, detaining hundreds of people, and arresting more active citizens on trumped-up charges.

Despite the continuously worsening situation, for the past eleven days the country’s president has not publicly addressed the people, while the National Assembly and its elected members have been enjoying their summer vacations.

Hereby we, signatories of civil society organizations, condemn the National Assembly’s inexcusable and unacceptable negligence, and call upon the National Assembly to exercise its constitutional right to convene a special parliamentary session in order to discuss the current situation and find peaceful solutions to this problem.

The time to prove that the National Assembly is the rightful representative of the people and that the parliamentary system of government is the most effective in overcoming a crisis is now."

Among the NGOs that have already signed the statement are Open Society Foundations - Armenia; Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation; Eurasia Partnership Foundation; Yerevan Press Club; Ecolur NGO; Foundation Against the Violation of Law NGO; Transparency International Anticorruption Center NGO; Democracy Today NGO; Journalists for Human Rights NGO; Peace Dialogue NGO; Women's Support Centre; Public Information and Need of Knowledge NGO; Media Initiatives Center; and New Generation Humanitarian NGO. Other organisations are expected to support the statement.


photo: The building of the Armenian Parliament in Yerevan (archive picture).