The state of democracy in Armenia is even worse than before May 2011 when under the pressure of rallies organized by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Serzh Sargsyan granted pardon to the last political prisoners jailed after the March 1, 2008 post-election bloodshed.
The opinion was expressed by HAK member Vladimir Karapetyan during a protest action outside the Prosecutor General's Office in Yerevan in support of the jailed opposition activist Tigran Arakelyan.
Armenia is getting more isolated, people are living in poverty, authorities have not kept any of their campaign pledges... Harassment of opposition activists has become widespread: not only HAK activists but also representatives of other political forces are subjected to persecution today. This again shows that the authorities are applying the same methods and the same pressures in their relationship with people and political forces," he said.
Mr Karapetyan says protests against the authorities' arbitrariness are important as they enable people to pressurize the leadership and signal our co-citizens that illegalities are continuing in the country and the authorities are responsible for it.
Publicist Ara Nedolyan says regular civil acts-protests and demonstrations - affect public awareness and show that ‘people have a moral, political and civic position and continue to express it.'
"The fact that there is a public demand, there is a kind of social protest - sustainable, long, sometimes crowded, sometimes not. But at any time it can have its impact on the situation. We have citizens who pose definite demanding and want to have them fulfilled," says the publicist.
Tigran Arakelyan was taken into custody after an August 2011 standoff with police officers in a Yerevan park and was immediately charged with hooliganism against a representative of law-enforcement body. Arakelyan and his friends from the HAK - David Kiramijyan, Sargis Gevorgyan and Artak Karapetyan were later sentenced to 2-6 years in prison.
Four of the six factions of Armenian parliament condemned the court ruling. The legal representatives of the HAK activists are presently disputing the verdict in the Appellate Court.