PACE still seriously concerned by the situation of detainees in Armenia but will not apply sanctions to the Armenian delegation
At the end of this morning's winter session debate and following the proposals of the monitoring co-rapporteurs for Armenia, Georges Colombier (France, EPP/CD) and John Prescott (United Kingdom, SOC), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided not to suspend the voting rights of the members of the Armenian delegation to the Assembly at this stage, viewing the recent initiatives of the Armenian authorities as an indication of their readiness to address the demands made by PACE in its Resolutions 1609 (2008) and 1620 (2008).

The Assembly remains dissatisfied and seriously concerned by the situation of persons deprived of their liberty in relation to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008. Nevertheless, it believes that the number of pardons granted by President Sarkissian (28 to date), the National Assembly's recent initiative to revise articles 225 and 300 of Armenia's Criminal Code (on "public order offences" and "usurping power") in accordance with Council of Europe standards within no more than two months* and the positive steps taken towards the establishment of an independent, transparent and credible inquiry, indicate that the Armenian authorities are prepared to address the Assembly's demands.

The Assembly expressed its concern over those who had been imprisoned for political reasons following the events of 1 and 2 March 2008 and called on the Armenian authorities to continue releasing them by using other legal means, including amnesties or the dropping of charges. PACE also invited its Monitoring Committee to examine, before the April part-session, the progress achieved by the Armenian authorities with regard to the implementation of today's resolution – as well as the previous ones – and to propose any further action to be taken by the Assembly as required by the situation.

*Under the Constitution of Armenia, any positive changes to the law would be retroactive with respect to the charges brought against the persons deprived of their liberty in relation to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008.