URGENT: Arrested opposition MPs released
YEREVAN, APRIL 23, ARMENPRESS. Members of Parliament Nikol Pashinyan, Sasun Michaelyan and Ararat Mirzoyan have been released after being arrested earlier on Saturday.
Pashinyan refused to comment on his meeting with First Deputy PM Karen Karapetyan, promising to give details later during the evening rally.
Armenia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan made a statement today for the media.
“Today we’ve made a decision and I have addressed the Prosecutor General to retract the motion regarding the Members of Parliament. I am now going to meet with Mr. Pashinyan in order to negotiate and find a solution. Tomorrow’s day is very important, and I believe that we will have enough common sense and soberness to show the whole world that regardless of how many difficult problems we have, regardless of how many unsolved issues we have, we can sit and find a reasonable solution,” Karapetyan said.
On April 22 police dispersed a rally in Yerevan’s Erebuni district, and three initiators of the rally, the opposition leader himself, and two other lawmakers - Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasun Michaelyan were detained.
“All actions of the initiators of the rally are illegal after the decision of the police to cease the demonstrations, and all participants of the rally are obliged to leave the location of the rally”, police said.
After a couple of hours the Prosecutor General’s Office said that the three lawmakers have been placed under arrest under Article 96, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution within the framework of an ongoing criminal case with the purpose of preventing crime and in direct suspicion of deliberately organizing and holding illegal rallies.
“MP Nikol Pashinyan, MP Ararat Mirzoyan and MP Sasun Michaelyan have numerously called on their followers to block city streets, block entrances of governmental buildings, breach into governmental buildings and paralyze the functioning of these buildings.
Their followers implemented the unlawful calls and blocked numerous streets and avenues, blocked the entries of state, self-governing body buildings, as well as private organizations, obstructed the normal functioning of these buildings and agencies, committed violence against police officers and others – leading to disproportionate restriction of the rights of other citizens and public interest.
As required by the Constitution, the Speaker of Parliament has been immediately notified on the arrest of the lawmakers”, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement.
The crowd did not disperse, and pocket demonstrations were reported citywide.
Later in the day, hundreds of protesters gathered in the Republic Square again.
English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan