YEREVAN (Combined sources) — Briton John Prescott, rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), visited Armenia, welcoming the lifting of two provisions of the state of emergency declaration by the Armenian authorities following his visit to Armenia last week.
“I especially welcome the lifting of the suspension of the activities of political parties and NGOs, which I specifically called for during my visit. I now call upon the authorities to lift the remaining provisions of the declaration of the state of emergency, especially those that limit the freedom of the media. I reiterate my conclusion that the only manner in which the current crisis can be resolved is through the recognition of the authority of the Constitutional Court and its ruling on the outcome of the presidential elections, the lifting of the state of emergency and the restoration of individual Human Rights and Freedoms, the establishment of an independent inquiry into the circumstances that led to the events on March 1, 2008 and the start of a dialogue between all political forces on the necessary political and electoral reform,” said Prescott.
Prescott was scheduled to report on his finding at a PACE meeting in Paris on March 13.
President Robert Kocharian on Monday lifted some of the restrictions imposed after police cracked down on protests following last month’s presidential election.
Kocharian’s order allows political parties to resume activities and stops the expulsion of nonresidents from the capital.
Other restrictions remain in place, including harsh controls on the Armenian media.