IN THE SPOTLIGHT
EaP CSF Reacts to the Hostage Crisis and Detention of Protesters in Armenia
20 July 2016
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EaP CSF) Steering Committee appeals to the Armenian authorities to resolve the occupation of the Erebuni police department in Yerevan by a group of armed supporters of the Founding Parliament opposition group without any further loss of life.
Furthermore, both sides are reminded that political tensions can only be resolved through dialogue and without recourse to violence, which has already led to the death of one policeman and injury of four others.
However, the Steering Committee stresses that political dialogue can only be conducted under conditions of rule of law and democratic governance, which respect the will of the people as expressed in free and fair elections. Such conditions can only be put in place if the leadership of Armenia revises its current policies and establishes a regime without political prisoners and with mutual respect between the country’s rulers and political opposition.
It is unacceptable that the authorities should breach fundamental human rights by detaining citizens on a large scale as has happened in recent days in Yerevan’s Liberty Square and elsewhere. Some of them were beaten while in detention before being released. Those detained were also deprived of food and water, as well as access to legal aid and communication with their families and friends.
The Steering Committee protests against such repressions, which are not directly related to the resolution of the Erebuni police department siege. Such actions do not only violate basic human rights but also make the peaceful resolution of the present crisis more difficult. Thus, the Steering Committee calls on the Armenian authorities to stop such indiscriminate actions in relation to the citizens and to severely punish those members of the security forces who issued these illegal orders and executed them.