YEREVAN (AP) — Protesters demonstrated Friday, March 17, for a second consecutive day over the death in prison of an opposition activist.
More than 1,000 people gathered in downtown Yerevan to criticize the government and demand a proper investigation into the death of 49-year old Artur Sarkisyan, who was in prison on charges of aiding terrorists.
Sarkisyan went on a hunger strike last month to protest his incarceration. He died of heart failure on Thursday after being transferred from prison to a hospital, where he immediately underwent emergency surgery.
Investigators have opened a criminal case into his death.
Senior Armenian officials have expressed regret over his death. Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said Friday he was experiencing “deep pain” about what happened.
The demonstration Friday was significantly larger than a smaller protest Thursday evening in Yerevan. The unrest comes ahead of a parliamentary election on April 2.