Question: How to prevent opposition rallies in Liberty square, Yerevan, Armenia?
Answer: To set up a 'children's park' there.
To avoid 'children sensitivities', the Armenia's opposition will hold its rally in front of Matenadaran, an ancient manuscript depository in central Yerevan, this coming Friday 20 June, 6 pm.
Despite their pledge to restore basic freedoms and democracy in Armenia after 1 March events in Yerevan, the Armenian authorities did not authorise this rally and so far have not made any significant progress in meeting European obligations and demands.
In the meantime, a group of bloggers and activists signed an open letter to the people of Armenia, government and international organisations.
An Open Letter to the People of Armenia, the Government of Armenia , and International Organizations
Very soon, every citizen of Armenia will be making a decision. Each citizen will have to decide whether he or she will be venturing out to join others in front of the Matenadaran, to participate in the first large rally organized by the Opposition since the events of March 1.
Events leading up to the February 19th presidential elections, including repressions of speech and media and flagrant abuses of power during and after the voting itself, made fair elections impossible and resulted in a falsified outcome. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered, day and night, in Liberty Square to peacefully protest the official outcome. On the night of March 1st, the government of Armenia used lethal force against its own people, for which there can be no justification. Since then, Armenia has been through an unfounded State of Emergency, with a smokescreen of changes afterwards meant only to appease critics from the international community. No real changes have been instituted to restore the rights and freedoms that belong to every man, woman, and child in Armenia, who have these rights and freedoms not because they are citizens of Armenia, but because they are. And, simply stated, no article or amendment can take away those rights and freedoms.
On June 20, every citizen of Armenia will have to make that important and difficult decision. Difficult, because the present government has already proven that it considers power an end in itself, and that the use of any means is justifiable to that end.
We, the undersigned, support the people of Armenia in their rights and freedoms, in their right to gather to voice discontent in a peaceful manner against a government which has shown only disdain for its citizens.
We demand that the Government of Armenia restore those rights and freedoms to her people.
We urge those international organizations involved in promoting human, political and civil rights to be true to their principles, to not be distracted by false attempts at change, and to help ensure the rights and freedoms that belong to the people of Armenia.
A. Manoukyan [aramazd.livejournal.com]
H. Nazarian [hnazarian.blogspot.com]
HIMA Youth Movement [himaam.info]
Save Armenia Action Group [SAAG]
Manet Manukyan, daughter of political prisoner Ashot Manukyan, head of Lori ANM
John Lowe, former United States Peace Corps Volunteer, Democracy and Development, Vanadzor
Hasmik Harutyunyan [former diplomat of the Republic of Armenia]
Armenaker Kameleon [armenaker.blogspot.com]