Armenia: state of emergency declared
05 Mar 08

At least eight people were killed and dozens more were injured in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, on Saturday following clashes between authorities and protestors gathered in support of the defeated presidential candidate, Levon Ter-Petrosian.

The protests in Freedom Square began peacefully on 20 February after opposition candidate Ter-Petrosian was defeated in a presidential election marked by irregularities.

Ten days later, however, on 1 March, police moved in to disperse the crowds, firing shots into the air and using tear gas, sparking violent clashes. The protests had been subject to a virtual blackout by state-run media. The government established a state of emergency after the clashes, blocking the central streets with tanks, and imposing severe restrictions on the media, ordering that only state-provided information sources be used in reports. Restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly have also been implemented.

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