YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia issued a statement Monday in which it assessed the standoff between security forces and opposition protesters in Yerevan that ended early Sunday following a state of emergency declared by President Robert Kocharian.
Translated excerpts of the statement are provided below.
What happened is our collective misfortune and humiliation and finding a solution is an obligation for all of us.
On the one hand, Levon Ter-Petrosian and his supporters had been preparing this scenario by inciting hatred and hostility, while on the other hand the objective grievances of the public were not being addressed.
As a result, the country suffered a heavy loss, the worst of which was the death of citizens. The ARF Supreme Body expresses its deepest condolences to the families of the victims, stressing that each and every one of us is grieving.
We emphasize that the actions taken by the first president and his supporters were an attempt to come to power by violent means and that the Armenian president’s decision to declare a state of emergency was a necessity
We are demanding that the authorities carry out steps in two directions: first, they must bring to justice all who are responsible for the unrest; take consistent measures to deal with the reasons that have caused the mistrust and injustice in the country, and put the country back on the path of democratization and the protection of human rights.
The ARF also faulted Armenia’s leadership for failing to address “objective reasons” for public discontent with the state of affairs in the country which it said was the reason why Ter-Petrosian has attracted a large following since his political comeback in September. It said the authorities should strengthen the rule of law and tackle the public “sense of injustice” in earnest.