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Armenia Pledges Action On Political Detainees

Unrest surrounding the February 2008 elections led to the arrests of many opposition members
STRASBOURG -- Armenia has pledged to enact an amendment that could result in the release of detained opposition members, improving the government's prospects of avoiding sanctions from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Some 60 opposition politicians and activists are imprisoned in Armenia, many of them jailed during the unrest following the February 2008 presidential election. PACE has demanded the release of oppositionists it identifies as political prisoners.

PACE is scheduled on January 27 to debate its Monitoring Committee's recent recommendation to suspend the voting rights of Armenian members because of the Armenian government's failure to release all political prisoners.

According to Armen Rustamian, a member of a visiting Armenian parliamentary delegation, officials in Strasbourg feel Armenia now has the "political will" to fully comply with PACE resolutions demanding the release of political prisoners. He said PACE will revisit the issue at its next session in April.