A rally demanding the release of Armenia’s former President Robert Kocharyan currently placed in detention was held on December 22 in the capital city Stepanakert of the Artsakh Republic. The protest was organized by the initiative group named “Union of Robert Kocharyan’s supporters”, Yerevan Today reported.
During the rally, physicist Grigory Afanasyan addressed the protestants: “Today, after 30 years we have gathered again and this time in protection of the former president of Armenia and Artsakh Robert Kocharyan. Karabakh people are ready to stand by their leader. Kocharyan was the one who stood by us during the demonstrations [of the Karabakh movement] and we are now demanding his immediate release,” Afanasyan said, recalling the former president’s role in the Karabakh movement and the subsequent war.
One of the participants of the gathering noted in case of a need they are ready to march from Stepanakert to Yerevan and stage demonstrations demanding Kocharyan’s freedom.
To remind, Kocharyan was arrested in July on charges of overthrowing Armenia’s constitutional order during the March 1-2, 2008 post-election events. On December 7, Armenia’s Court of Appeals upheld the first instance court’s ruling to arrest Robert Kocharyan.
The ex-president and his lawyers strongly deny the charges as ‘politically motivated’ and are set to file lawsuit with ECHR.