YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The Armenian authorities have refused to authorize a rally which former President Levon Ter-Petrosian plans to hold in Yerevan on June 20, a top aide to the former president said on Thursday.
Ter-Petrosian’s group claimed they formally notified the Yerevan municipality on Tuesday about the intention to rally supporters in the central Liberty Square for the first time since March 1. Under Armenia’s law on public gatherings, the municipality must sanction or ban the protest within 72 hours.
The press service of Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian declined to confirm or the claims.
“Tomorrow we will give the authorities another chance and file another application,” said Ter-Petrosian spokesperson Levon Zurabian. “Our intention is clear. Whatever the position of the authorities, we will hold our rally.”
“Whether or not they allow the rally, people will assemble,” said Stepan Demirchian, another opposition leader allied to Ter-Petrosian. “We must do everything to make sure the rally is peaceful.”
The Armenian parliament on Wednesday eased some of the restrictions on freedom of assembly under pressure from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and other international bodies.