At 6 pm today, as previously promised in a statement issued yesterday, a group of NGO workers and members of the public erected a tent in Liberty Square for Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian who’s been on a hunger strike in the famous square since Mar. 15. Recall, in their statement addressed to RA President Serzh Sargsyan, the group noted it was prepared to erect a tent at 6 pm today — regardless of police intervention.
Though on more than one occasion, police prohibited a tent or even a canopy to be erected in the square to shield the hunger striking MP from bad weather conditions, today, despite the presence of numerous officers including high-ranking officials, they did not intervene in people’s actions.
Present at Liberty Square during the erecting of the tent were Heritage Party MPs Stepan (Styopa) Safaryan, Armen Martirosyan, Zaruhi Postanjyan and Anahit Bakhshyan, as well as New Times party leader Aram Karapetyan, Armenian National Congress (HAK) members Alexander Arzumanyan, Karapet Rubinyan, Vardges Gaspari, and members of the Rapid Response Group of the Human Rights Defender’s office.
After erecting the tent, those present began to clap, sing Armenia’s national anthem, wave Armenian flags, and chant “Free, just Armenia!” and “Free, independent Armenia!”
Note, during the entire time that the tent was being erected Hovannisian was sitting on his bend under an umbrella and observing people’s actions.