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European Parliament Members Visit Jailed Armenians

Parliamentary delegation head Marie Anne Isler Beguin
YEREVAN, April 8, 2009 (RFE/RL) -- Members of the European Parliament visited jailed Armenian opposition leaders this week, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

The opposition leaders were arrested after last year's disputed presidential election and the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has requested that they be released of "seemingly artificial or politically motivated charges."

Parliamentary delegation head Marie Anne Isler Beguin told RFE/RL on April 7 that the European Union delegation "wanted to have a discussion" with the prisoners in order to form "our own opinion" about the PACE request.

Beguin declined to name which prisoners they met with, but other sources told RFE/RL that the visiting Brussels lawmakers spoke with former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian, former Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Jahangirian, and two opposition parliamentarians.