Court Refuses To Free OppositionistsSource : http://hyemedia.com/2015/04/court-refuses-to-free-oppositionists/
April 20, 2015 Armenia, Top News, Turkey
Armenia’s Court of Appeals on Monday refused to set free three arrested leaders of a radical opposition group that plans to launch this week a campaign of street protests against the government.
Lawyers for Zhirayr Sefilian, the top leader of the Founding Parliament movement, and his four close associates last week appealed against a lower court’s decision to allow law-enforcement bodies to keep them in pre-trial detention for at least two months.
After brief hearings the Court of Appeals rejected the petitions submitted by attorneys representing Sefilian, Gevorg Safarian and Pavel Manukian.It was widely expected to dismiss the appeals lodged by the two other detained men, Garegin Chukaszian and Varuzhan Avetisian, later on Monday and Tuesday.
“Once again, the court demonstrated that it executes government orders, rather than administers justice,” one of the lawyers, Ara Zakarian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
The five oppositionists arrested earlier this month stand accused of plotting to provoke “mass disturbances” during the high-profile commemorations on Friday of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. The Founding Parliament denies the accusations as politically motivated.
Hundreds of Founding Parliament members and supporters marched through central Yerevan on Friday to demand the immediate release of Sefilian and the four other men. Leaders of the group remaining at large made clear that their campaign for “regime change” will start as planned on Friday.
The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and some mainstream opposition parties have condemned the Founding Parliament for timing the campaign to coincide with the centenary of the Armenian genocide. They say that anti-government street protests in Yerevan could overshadow the remembrance ceremonies.
The HHK’s parliamentary leader, Vahram Baghdasarian, said on Saturday that law-enforcement bodies should arrest anyone who tries to organize demonstrations on that day.
Source: RFE/RL – Originial Article
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