Thousands protest against Armenian President Sarkisian
Thousands of Armenians protested in the capital, Yerevan, Friday against the policies of President Serzh Sarkisian, demanduing the immediate release of supporters detained during bloody demonstrations last March that saw nine people killed, the dpa reported.
Opposition politician Levon Surabian announced at the unauthorised rally that the protesters would begin a 28-day sit-down. "We cannot go home while our friends are in prison," he declared.
Opponents say Sarkisian has refused all dialogue with the opposition since his February 19 election in a contested vote.
Organisers of Friday's protest said it attracted 30,000 demonstrators, but police put the figure at 5,000. Surabian announced further protests for the coming weeks to pressure Sarkisian.
According to local journalists, there had been a high number of arrests during a 20-day state of emergency following the March violence.