Armenian Youth Federation of Australia: We Support the Will of the Armenian People

By AYF-AU | Saturday, 21 April 2018

Civic activism has taken over the streets of Yerevan, with the youth prominent among the citizens of the Republic of Armenia who have come out in force to declare that “enough is enough”.

The ascension of former President, Serzh Sargsyan to the post of Prime Minister has been the catalyst for a citizenry - our brothers and sisters - who have long been demanding for systemic changes and for real reforms. While we believe the recent constitutional changes, transitioning Armenia to a parliamentary democracy, allow for such reforms to take place, the pace and real impacts of those changes have clearly been deemed unsatisfactory by the people, who are suffering after too many years of state neglect, monopolisation driven by oligarchs, and widespread corruption.

The Armenian Youth Federation of Australia has been following developments in Yerevan closely. As the Armenian-Australian organisation always at the forefront of acts of civil disobedience and protest within our community, we respect that any cause that leads a citizen from his or her relative comforts and onto the streets is very important.

In democracy, the demands of a people are never unjust. They simply need to be realised, by the people and for the people.

Further, it is our expectation that the rights of these protesters will be respected by authorities. We stand with our brothers and sisters in Armenia to freely exercise their rights to speech, their rights to assemble, their rights to dissent, and their rights to demand. We are hopeful that such an environment will allow for the political dialogue inevitably required to resolve the issues at hand.

We are distraught by reports of excessive force used and unwarranted arrests by authorities in certain clashes between police and protesters. We unequivocally condemn the use of force and any attempts to silence the citizenry of Armenia. We equally condemn any foreign attempts to influence the will of the Armenian people.

The Armenian Youth Federation of Australia is convinced that the future of the country lies in the hands of its people. Enabling their peaceful freedom of expression will lead to the realisation of their desired future. We support whatever is the will of the Armenian people.

- Armenian Youth Federation of Australia