75 Percent Say There Are Political Prisoners in Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Center for Sociological Studies at the Deputy Club "Supreme Council" has held a telephone poll showing that 75 percent of residents of Yerevan believe there are political prisoners in Armenia. 12 percent say there are no such prisoners–while 13 percent have found it difficult to reply.

Sociologist Anahit Sargssian–the Center’s director–said Thursday that the poll was held in Yerevan on May 15-19–with 600 people from capital communities taking part in it.

In April the CSS addressed the same question to human rights and non-government organizations in Armenia. 89 percent of those questioned admitted then that there are political prisoners in Armenia.

18.1 percent of those questioned said either they themselves or a member of their families attended the march to the Central Electoral Commission building on September 25–1996–that is–one may arrive at a conclusion that some forty thousand people participated in that demonstration of protest.

Nearly 74 percent of those questioned described the rally and the following events as a display of resentment and protection of the nation’s right to choose; 11 percent described it as mass disturbances; 2.3 percent as a coup attempt; five percent found it difficult to answer.

66.7 percent of those questioned believe there are human rights abuses in Armenia; eight percent have found it difficult to reply. 45.2 percent of the questioned pin their hope on shift of power in the matter of further protection of human rights situation in Armenia; 16.8 percent rely on democratic countries and international organizations; 15 percent on civil institutions and activeness of society; nine percent do not rely on anything at all.

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