20 February, 2019 23:46

Armenia's Parliament Proposes Bill To Compensate March 1 Victims

By Ani Paitjan

Members of the National Assembly (parliament) have proposed a bill that would provide compensation to relatives of the March 1, 2008 victims. The authors of the document are National Assembly Vice Presidents, Lena Nazaryan and Alen Simonyan, both from the My Step Alliance.

The proposed bill would grant compensation to the relatives of the victims of the March 1, 2008 incidents - when government forces clashed with protestors - and to the demonstrators who suffered from injuries during the rally in Yerevan on March 1 and 2 of 2008.  

"During the 2008 events, the Republic of Armenia did not secure the rights of people to live, so now when steps are taken to ensure public solidarity and to restore the violated rights of people through transitional justice. The compensation provided by this law is another step towards the realization of the above mentioned rights,” reads the bill.

The amount and terms of the compensation would be determined by the government.

On February 19, 2008, Serzh Sargsyan became the president of Armenia. His opponent, the first president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian and his supporters, including then-activist Nikol Pashinyan, refused to accept the results of the election. For the next ten days, there were round-the-clock sit-ins around the Opera, in Freedom Square. Then-President Robert Kocharyan announced a state of emergency and army subdivisions entered Yerevan. On March 1, government forces clashed with protesters resulting in the deaths of eight civilians and two policemen, and roughly 300 were injured. In the course of 10 years, no one has taken or borne any responsibility, including legal, for the deaths that occurred on March 1.

Read More:

Revisiting March 1 Election Crisis: Elusive Justice?

March 1. Ten Years On, with No Accountability for Ten Deaths