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March 24, 2011

People’s Right is Fulfilled Immediately at Liberty Square

Yerevan—Today, 24 March 2011, the ordinary Armenian citizens and representatives of approximately thirty non-governmental—including NCI activists—organizations took upon themselves the duty of the state and together pitched a tent, which the law does not prohibit for those on a hunger strike. Thereby they prevented the danger which threatened the life of Armenian citizen Raffi K. Hovannisian, who is on a hunger strike at Yerevan’s Liberty Square.

In the afternoon of 23 March, several NGOs—including human rights—had called upon the incumbent Armenian president to execute the requirement made in the statement by the Armenian Human Rights Defender, and therefore to “secure, by 23 March, the fulfillment of the state’s obligation to set up a tent for its citizen who is on a hunger strike.” And if the state did not carry out this duty, the civil society representatives had assured that they would take on that obligation.

And today, starting from 6pm, hundreds began gathering at Liberty Square, they took part in this initiative by the NGOs, and thus carried out their civil right and civic duty. Despite the presence of numerous police officers and their clear predisposition toward disallowing the pitching of the tent, the citizens created several rows of human chain around the young men who were setting up the tent. And the tent-pitching ceremony came to a close with the citizens’ singing of Armenian’s national anthem, exclaiming of “Free, independent Armenia,” “Free, righteous Armenia, and waving of the national tricolor.

Raffi Hovannisian’s Fast for Freedom alarm, which has awakened the civic mind and resulted in today’s small but important achievement, comes to prove that unity, determination, and civic engagement are the guarantees for a powerful statehood.

For further information on the National Citizensí Initiative, please call (37410) 27-16-00 or 27-00-03; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email


  • Armenian version of the press release

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