Scores of Armenian citizens grouped outside the Prosecutor General's Office in Yerevan to demand release for the four activists of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) who were sentenced to imprisonment last week.
With its move, the opposition alliance declared the start of its Friday protests outside the building until the opposition activists- Tigran Arakelyan, Artak Karapetyan, Sargis Gevorgyan and David Kiramijyan - are set free.
HAK MP Aram Manukyan is convinced that the young activists will not appear in freedom but for public pressure. The demonstration was also attended by representatives of different Facebook initiative groups and ordinary citizens. Vasik Khanalyan had come from Masis to join the demonstrators.
"People are murdered in the daylight but no one is punished. These boys were sentenced to prison merely for trying to establish order. What does it mean?" he said.
"We are glad to see other people here who have come to support us. We all do not want to have political prisoners in Armenia and we are going to continue the struggle until the last political prisoner is released," said Aram Manukyan.
The demonstrators were unable to approach the building of the Prosecutor General's Office as a group of police officers had chained the area.
Seven HAK activists were taken into custody on August 9, 2011, after a standoff with police in a Yerevan park. On August 12, three of them were released under recognizance not to leave. A week later, the court decided to release three more activists; however, a petition to release Tigran Arakelyan was rejected. The activists are accused of hooliganism against a representative of law-enforcement body.
Following Arakelyan's detention, the HAK suspended the dialogue with the government demanding the authorities to release Tigran Arakelyan whom the opposition alliance viewed as a political prisoner.
on July 20, 2012, a court in Yerevan sentenced Arakelyan to six years in prison, David Kiramijyan and sargis Gevorgyan to two years in prison. Artak Karapetyan was given three years' imprisonment.