Friday, June 19, 2009

Freedom for the Political Prisoners... ALL of them

Amnesty was being discussed today in the National Assembly. A group gathered, spontaneously, without previous organization (as per the video), to show support for the political prisoners. The video from a1plus is below, with some explanation.

Melissa Brown makes a very strong statement just a few minutes into the video:
We are here because the National Assembly is discussing amnesty. But amnesty will not solve this problem, Amnesty will not solve our problems. We demand Justice. This is not possible, this is not a present from SS.
These guys are not guilty, and their innocence was proven in court. They need to all come out. And this amnesty does not apply to everyone. How is Alik going to come out if the Sateyans[?] are still inside, if Aram Bareghamyan is going to stay inside, if Ashot Manukyan, the others, Mushegh Saghatelyan ... are still inside? This amnesty does not solve our problems.
And while the officer around 6 minutes is trying to explain that the gathering is unlawful as it has exceeded the 'limit' of 100 people, the voices only become louder.

The last minute or so shows a number of individuals who are sitting. I'm now sure if that is an intentional sit-in, but it seems like it. I wondered when that would happen. It is harder to shove or grab someone who is sitting. And while being rough with a peaceful standing protester looks bad enough on film, being rough with a sitting peaceful protester looks even worse. Trying to pick up or move someone who is sitting takes more than one person.

The clip also captures a group of youths talking with one of the officers, the latter of whom seems to be saying that having people sit on the ground is causing a disturbance. The officer tries to say that the safety of the individuals there, including the young man, is his responsibility. The response, if I'm hearing correctly, from the youth is that he is doing this exactly for that reason, for his safety. And when he starts getting a lecture from the officer that he will learn that when he is older and goes into the army, the youth responds that if he can understand this at his young age, then the officer in his older age should easily understand it.

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