OSCE PA hails protest rallies in Yerevan
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 20
On the eighth consecutive day of protests in Yerevan and other cities in Armenia, Ignacio Sanchez Amor (MP, Spain), chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee, has called on all sides to engage in constructive dialogue, OSCE PA said in a press release April 20.
"I welcome the civic engagement of people turning out to exercise their right to freedom of expression through peaceful protest," he said. "This right must be respected by the authorities, and I take note of reports of instances of excessive use of force. At the same time, I remind that the right to peaceful protest does not enable demonstrators to force their way into buildings and disrupt proceedings. I call on all sides to exercise due restraint to ensure that all Armenians can peacefully express their opinions, and call for a prompt return to constructive dialogue. In this context, Freedom of the Press is of paramount importance and journalists should be protected against any form of violence."
Armenia’s opposition launched mass protests against the candidacy of Serzh Sargsyan for prime minister of the country.
Sargsyan was elected as prime minister with 77 votes for and 17 against.
The rally, headed by opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, has been held in Yerevan since April 13. During the rally there were clashes between the police and the rally participants. Some individuals were detained.