Thousands Protest Protocols, Urge Court to Reject Documents

Yerevan demonstration, 11 January 2010

Yerevan demonstration, 11 January 2010

Thousands marched on January 11, 2010, to Armenia’s Constitutional Court during a demonstration organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun, urging the high court to invalidate the Armenia-Turkey protocols.

The Constitutional Court is scheduled to begin hearings onon January 12, 2010, the Armenia-Turkey protocols to rule whether they conform with the Armenian Constitution, before they are submitted to the National Assembly for ratification.

The key contentions are the preconditions inherent within the documents, the approval of which will only benefit Turkey and severely curtail Armenia’s ability to push forward a national agenda based on national interests.

The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun contends that the protocols, in their current format, would hinder the process of garnering international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, force Armenia into recognizing the current Armenia-Turkey borders and bind the Armenia-Turkey normalization process with the resolution of the Karabakh-Azerbaijan conflict.

The demonstrators, bearing torches and the signs reading “No to the Protocols” marched to the Constitutional Court building, where they submitted a nine-page letter delineating their demands from the court.

Among the speakers were Chairman of the ARF-D Supreme Council of Armeina  and Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, Armen Rustamyan, Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Internal Affairs, National Security and Defense, ARF-D member Hrayr Karapetyan, Democratic Liberal Party of Armenia representative Harutyun Arakelyan and Chairman of the New Times Party Aram Karapetyan. The leaders of the Heritage Party attended the rally as well.

Rustamyan explained that the main objective of the demonstration and the petition is to provide a way out of the protocols, saying that the Constitutional Court had the right to express its objections to the protocols. He said that the Court must recognize that the protocols, in their current state, veer from main points of the Armenian Constitution. He added, that if the Court did not heed the demonstrators’ call, then it will be up to the parliament to reject the protocols.