Thursday, 20 March 2008

Yerevan, 21 March 2008 - SILENT PROTEST ACTION (details in English)

On Monday, I posted news on SILENT PROTEST ACTION to be held on 21 March 2008 in Yerevan (the day, when as we 'promised', the 'state of emergency' rules will no longer be in force). The link I provided back then contains details in Armenian.

Below is the "invitation" and "guidelines" in English, as well as "an urgent call" to people in Europe, the US and Canada to support the action. I received this today via organisers and activists of the event.

An urgent call to support

the silent protest in Yerevan, Armenia

on Friday, March 21, 5pm-7pm

The announcement outlined below has been extended to the citizens of the republic of Armenia, the vast majority of which continue to live in a state of terror, violence, political persecution, intimidation and total information black-out. On Friday, March 21, 2008, many will form a silent, human chain from 5pm to 7pm to focus the attention of the international community, yet again, on their plight

The organizers have taken every conceivable precaution to prevent the authorities from mislabeling their silent protest as mass riots and provoking confrontations.

As indicated in the guidelines below, the sole purpose of the Silent Protest is to mourn and to remember those who have fallen prey to a totalitarian and sick regime, and to do so with respect and dignity.

It is the duty of all us to bow our heads before such courage and above all, to support their efforts to regain their human dignity. After all, none of us in Europe, the US and Canada would tolerate a life without dignity and civil liberties for a single moment.

Time is of the essence. Express your views to the Foreign ministry, the Prime Minister's Office and the President's office of Armenia AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Invitation to participate in a human chain of silent protest

All the citizens of the Republic of Armenia willing to express their indignation against the brutalities and massacres organized by the authorities of Armenia in the morning and evening of March 1st, those who decry the unconscionable political persecutions, arrests and trials of peaceful demonstrators that continue to this day, and those who mourn the memory of all victims of the events of the March 1st, are invited to participate in a Silent Protest on Friday, March 21, from 5pm to7pm.

Protesters will stand in silence, in a single row. The line will extend from Liberty Square (where the carnage of March 1 against peaceful and unsuspecting demonstrators was launched) through Northern Avenue, Abovyan Street, Republic Square, Vazgen Sargsyan Street and Italy Street. In the latter section the line will be situated on the walkway facing the Prosecutor General's Office.

Participants are urged to adhere to the following strict guidelines:

1. Participants will stand only and only on those parts of the path that are free of vehicular traffic, and on sidewalks, so as not to disrupt the normal flow of traffic in the city;

2. Participants will stand approximately 1meter apart from each other (approximately the span of extended arms);

3. Participants will stand in a single row;

4. If the number of participants exceeds the number of people that can be accommodated in a single row, the group surpassing that number will stand on the opposing sidewalk under the same guidelines to prevent traffic congestions and, to prevent the authorities from condemning it as a mass gathering;

5. In those areas where no opposite sidewalks exist, participants will not form a second row.

To express your protest, it is advised to have with you:

1. The photograph or photographs of any or some political prisoners (with their names and last names displayed) and hold them visibly in your hands or attached to your backs. If possible, print a few photographs of political prisoners and give them to the participant near you. Some photographs can be downloaded from the following website:

2. You may tie black ribbons on your arms in memory of the victims of the March 1;

3. You may carry candles, placed in glasses (not to be blown out by the wind) in memory of the victims of March 1. And, you may simply wear a black outfit in memory of the victims of March 1.


1. Please maintain maximum and strict order;
2. Do not be swayed by any provocation;
3. If you feel impending danger and threat of the use of force, please leave your location in the row (you may return to your location when the threat is gone)
4. Answer questions posed by the police, the public, journalists and others without agitation and with calm.

For questions and suggestions please contact:

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