Situation Remains Stable after Opposition Rally Dispersion

PRAGUE (RFE/RL)–The situation remained calm in Yerevan yesterday–24 hours after police forcibly dispersed an opposition rally in the center of the city.

Authorities released three opposition lawmakers detained for their participation in antigovernment protests.

Shavarsh Kocharian of the Justice (Artarutyun) alliance and Aleksan Karapetian of the National Unity Party had been detained during the previous morning’s unrest–which followed four days of rallies. Another Justice lawmaker–Arshak Sadoyan–had been taken to a police station a few hours later.

It is not clear whether they will face any sanctions.

Also unclear is the fate of former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian and former Deputy Health Minister Artak Zeynalian. Both men were taken into police custody in connection with the unrest and have not reappeared since.

RFE/RL’s Armenian Service correspondent Karine Kalantarian reports that police confirm four opposition activists are under arrest and that another 19 are being questioned.

Armenian authorities yesterday vowed to get tough on rallies staged without official permission–saying all unauthorized meetings are banned throughout the country.


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