The September 30 rally of the oppositional Armenian National Congress (ANC) grew into a one-week round-the-clock rally. It is already the 5th day that tents are pitched on the Freedom Square and people stay there.
There have already been registered cases of violating the right of freedom of movement of people from provinces to reach the Freedom Square, particularly in the Lori province; in this connection the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office made an announcement and sent a letter to the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
The people presently living on the Freedom Square claim that the toilets around the Freedom Square were intentionally closed. Yesterday the ANC leader publicly asked the RA President Serzh Sargsyan to solve the problem to provide people with sufficient conditions to satisfy their natural requirements.
The opposition demand to hold early elections, detect the March 1 crime and bring the guilty to criminal responsibility, eliminate the ban on street trade in Yerevan, stop distorting Yerevan architecture, legally prohibit prosecutions of mass media outlets by public officials.
The ANC September 30 rally, taken into consideration by notification, should have finished at 11.00 p.m. However, during the rally the ANC leader L. Ter-Petrosyan announced that he is meeting the wish of the rally participants to hold a spontaneous event and from that moment declares the start of round-the-clock rallies and simultaneously, on behalf of the Congress, suggested to define a one week duration for it.
The police announced that the current rally is illegal and its participants are subject to responsibility stipulated by the law, and that the participants are being informed about it regularly. Nevertheless, taking into account the peaceful nature of the rally the police support the holding of the rally within the limits of its competence.
"This support can continue only as long as the rally maintains its peaceful nature and it does not disproportionately violate the public order and constitutional rights of others," reads the announcement spread by the police.
Meanwhile the police report that violations of public order occur during the illegal rally, in particular, participants of the rally have pitched several dozen tents on the territory of a cultural monument; the police call the rally participants to remove the pitched tents.
The ANC round-the-clock event goes on. Every day at 6:00 p.m. there is a rally on the square. Before and after it there are sit-ins and political walks. At 3:00-5:00 there are public forums on Freedom Square: representatives of ANC tell people about ANC programs in different spheres.
Friday is the last day of the declared one-week round-the-clock rallies. Will ANC continue the sit-in? Will the police continue to support peaceful demonstrators? Friday will show.
Photo by Arman Veziryan
Video by Karine Ionesyan