YEREVAN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 20th May, 2019) Protesters in Armenia are blocking entrances to court buildings across the country on Monday following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s calls for action after a court ruled to free former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
A court in Yerevan ruled on Saturday to release Kocharyan under guarantees of the former and incumbent presidents of the non-recognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The next day, Pashinyan, on his Facebook page, called for blocking court buildings’ entrances on Monday morning in protest of the ruling.
Protests are taking place in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan along with other regions, with protesters publishing photos and videos on social media.
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian urged the nation to show restraint and respect the constitution in light of Pashinyan’s calls, while the lawyers’ chamber said that the prime minister’s appeals violated the constitution.
Kocharyan, who served as president from 1998 to 2008, was charged with attempts to overthrow Armenia’s constitutional order by suppressing opposition protests in March 2008. He has denounced the accusations as fabricated.
The protests were held by supporters of then-presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who rejected the results of the February 2008 election, won by Kocharyan’s ally Serzh Sargsyan. The rallies led to clashes between the protesters and police who dispersed demonstrators. Pashinyan, in turn, was on Ter-Petrosyan’s campaign team and took part in the rallies.