Opposition Presses Ahead with Rally Plans

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s opposition led by former president Levon Ter-Petrosian reiterated its plans to stage a rally later this week despite the refusal of Yerevan’s authorities to authorize it.

Levon Zurabian, a leading member of Ter-Petrosian’s Popular Movement, said on Wednesday that the rally will take place on Friday in the area adjacent to Matenadaran.

Earlier the opposition had planned its June 20 rally in nearby Liberty Square The municipality, however, had not allowed the rally to be staged in the square citing another planned event for the venue as the reason for rejecting the bid. Nor did the city officials grant the opposition an opportunity to gather near Matenadaran, as an alternative suggesting they gather in a small square near the capital’s largest football arena just off the city center. The opposition, however, rejected that offer out of hand.

“Our rally will take place,” Zurabian said at a press conference. “It is authorized under Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 29 of Armenia’s Constitution.”

An administrative court in Yerevan upheld the municipality’s decision in its ruling on Tuesday in a move perceived by the opposition as another evidence that courts in Armenia lack independence.

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