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In Defense of A1+ and the Wait for Promised Apartments: Yerevan Demonstrations

Gathered outside the Armenian government building today were activists protesting A1+ TV being deprived of a broadcasting license, as well as Yerevan residents awaiting promised apartments.

Armenian National Congress activist Vardges Gaspari stood quietly in the rain holding his usual poster of a photo of RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan with the words “Hooligan” above and the inscription “Fulfill the requirement of the European Court’s ruling,” in which the court ruled in 2008 that by depriving A1+ of a broadcasting license, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights was violated and further mandated the Armenian government to pay 30,000 euros to A1+, which has yet to be fulfilled.

Most of the protestors outside the government building today were supporters and residents evicted from buildings 4/14 to 4/24 Amiryan St. who were told that they would receive new homes by MP Melik Gasparyan, who purchased the property under the pretext of state needs (the area was designated as special interest by the state), but who died two years ago in a car accident. According to head of the Property Rights Protection NGO Vachagan Hakobyan, Gasparyan had bought the property from city hall 4 years ago.

“He made an agreement that we’re going to give you houses; he deceives a few people and they don’t sign an agreement. Now his building too, which they began to build, has been demolished,” he said, adding that they had gathered outside the presidential residence two days ago, demanding Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan either meet with them or respond in writing.

“Two days have passed but we don’t yet have a response; let them give us a final response… Because if push comes to shove, then [former president] Robert Kocharian and [a former Yerevan mayor] Yervand Zakharyan have to be held accountable, that they’ve plundered people. Then they say that we don’t respect the authorities. Are these authorities worthy of respect, that they’ve thrown people out? We are going to fight till we get to our goal,” said Hakobyan.