Restricted Liberties on Liberty Square for Armenian Opposition
Yerevan police apparently consider that city squares are for rest, not for rallies. To make their point, police officers on May 31 dragged opposition activists and journalists away from the Armenian capital's Liberty Square, a longtime venue for venting political dissent.
For several days now, Armenian National Congress (ANC) activists have been vainly trying to access the newly renovated central square to call for the release of alleged political prisoners and return of opposition-minded A1+ television channel to the air. But the city authorities say they did not refurbish Liberty Square to let it turn into a theater for political activism again. Riot police rounded up 15 ANC activists and several reporters and herded them into police vans on May 31. Most have since been released, reportedly.
In March 2008, Liberty Square became the scene of deadly clashes between police and supporters of ANC leader, ex-President Levon Ter Petrosian, who disputed his defeat by President Serzh Sargsyan in that year’s presidential elections.