Statement of the Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the Recent Developments in Armenia
We deplore the arrest of our colleague Hovsep Khurshudyan, a respected member of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership’s Civil Society Forum, amidst the protests on the night of July 29/30, 2016 in Yerevan and demand his immediate release as well as that of all those who have been arrested by the police in recent days. The citizens of Armenia have every right to demonstrate in support of their views while police attacks on demonstrators risk further bloodshed.
This lessens the chances of the development of a dialogue between rulers and ruled which is the only way to resolve the present situation.
Brutal attacks by plain clothes policemen against media representatives who were performing their professional duty at the recent demonstrations should also be deplored as a violation of the principle of media freedom.
We appreciate the fact that another of our detained colleagues from the Civil Society Forum, Levon Bargseghyan has already been released by the authorities in a gesture which suggests that a peaceful end to this present tense situation is possible.
We also recognise the present efforts of the Armenian Human Rights Ombudsman who is documenting the present human rights violations and the fact that the Prosecutor General’s office has opened inquiries into possible misdeeds by officials against media representatives and others.
Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum