EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Armenian Political Prisoners Released

Posted by Info on 29/06/2009

Armenian authorities have begun releasing dozens of political prisoners more than 15 months after suppressing massive opposition demonstrations against the official results of a disputed presidential election.They have ensured, however, that not all jailed supporters of the top opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian are set free under a general amnesty declared on June 19.

President Serzh Sarksyan’s intention to keep more than a dozen of them behind bars is a measure of his self-confidence, resulting from opposition setbacks and Western support for his foreign policy.

Few doubt that the measure is primarily a face-saving way of freeing more than 50 opposition members and supporters arrested in the wake of the troubled vote. The vast majority of them were jailed in connection with the March 1, 2008 clashes in Yerevan between the security forces and opposition protesters that left ten people dead and more than 200 others injured. Many received prison sentences solely on the basis of police testimony.

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