FIDH and CSI welcome the release of political prisoners in Armenia


Paris-Yerevan, May 31, 2011 – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisation in Armenia, Civil Society Institute (CSI) welcome the release of political prisoners in Armenia.

On May 26, 2011, National Assembly of Armenia adopted the resolution “On Announcing General Amnesty on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Independence Declaration of the Republic of Armenia”. This decree made possible the long-awaited release of the political prisoners arrested following the March 2008 events.

Previously, on April 20, 2011, President Serzh Sargsyan highlighted the importance of the investigation of the March 2008 events.

On numerous occasions, the international community urged the Armenian government to stop politically motivated persecutions, investigate into the events – when 10 people were killed – and to release the opposition activists who were arrested after. At the occasion of the FIDH 37th World Congress which was hold in Yerevan, a year ago, all FIDH’s member organisations reiterated through the statement of FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen, the recommendation to conduct a credible and effective investigations on the cases of the ten people killed and met with their families. « Releasing political prisoners and conducting such investigations would be a true sign of moving towards effective Rule of Law in Armenia », stated Souhayr Belhassen in April 2011. The same request was submitted to the President Sargsyan when he received the FIDH high profile delegation on April 6, 2010.

Today, FIDH and CSI welcome the release of the political prisoners and express their hope that the President’s call to investigate the circumstances of March 2008 events will be promptly followed by concrete steps in this regard. Our organisations also call to provide the relatives of ten victims of March 1 events the adequate reparation they have been waiting for since 2008.
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