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Opposition Lawmakers Slam Unrest Probe-Related Monitoring Report


Armenia -- Riot police confront opposition protesters in Yerevan on 01Mar2008

Armenia -- Riot police confront opposition protesters in Yerevan on 01Mar2008

Opposition members of the Armenian parliament on Monday voiced strong criticism regarding a submitted report on the monitoring of the fulfillment of proposals made by an ad hoc committee looking into the 2008 post-election unrest.


The discussion of the document submitted by the legislative body’s standing committee on state and legal affairs ended in parliament on Monday, with the committee’s head David Harutiunian soliciting for proposals from fellow lawmakers.

“There are issues on which we also expect the response of the National Assembly,” said the pro-establishment lawmaker.

The report written on more than 100 pages deals with a variety of issues, including legislation, social justice and even corruption, but on the main issue regarding the punishment of those responsible for the ten killings on March 1-2, 2008 it only sets out the question and presents the answer of the Special Investigation Service that “the investigation is ongoing”.

Head of the parliamentary faction of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party Stepan Safarian described the report as ‘meaningless’, since “the consequences of the events are not eliminated and the causes are not identified.”

“The state has not given a proper legal and political assessment either to the causes of the events or those responsible for them. And if we don’t get to know the answers to all these questions, if the three presidents of the republic, as the most important participants in this process, were not questioned, the 10 murders remain undisclosed and the cases are dismissed, then what is it that we are monitoring?” stressed Safarian.

Artsvik Minasian, a representative of the other opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) faction, called the steps of the authorities after the 2008 bloody events a ‘deception’.

“As a member of the parliamentary ad hoc committee that looked into the March 1-2, 2008 events, I am convinced that the positive achievements that have been made by the committee gradually lose their value today and become useless through this monitoring system. No significant achievements have been made or serious bases have been laid for precluding similar developments, and the committee on state and legal affairs is just a smokescreen to these reforms,” said the Dashnaktsutyun lawmaker.

Minasian called for setting up an ad hoc committee that would “truly engage in monitoring activities.”

Harutiunian, meanwhile, took the discontent of the oppositionists in its stride and called for cooperation.

“Besides making political statements, it is also necessary to do certain work,” he said.
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