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Armenian authorities should fully respect the principle of freedom of Assembly, according to PACE rapporteurs

Strasbourg, 17.02.2009 - John Prescott and Georges Colombier ,  co-rapporteurs  on Armenia 's monitoring for the Parliamenatry Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), expressed their  concern about  the refusal of the authorities to allow the Armenian National Congress   (HAK)   to organise a peaceful rally in Central Yerevan on 1 March 2009. They stressed  that the  Assembly  has on several occasions called  upon the authorities to fully respect the principle of  freedom of  assembly in Armenia and not  to  place undue restrictions, especially with regard to the requested venues, upon peaceful rallies organised by the opposition. In their  view ,  the possibility for all political forces to organise peaceful rallies is an essential component of democracy and therefore call upon the authorities to allow such peaceful rallies to take place unimpeded  in the requested venues.