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Armenian opposition activists detained in Yerevan

22 April 2021 [14:34] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vafa Ismayilova

Police detained a group of Armenian opposition activists in the capital Yerevan in the early hours of April 22, TASS has reported.

The detentions started after activists from the Azatagrum (Liberation) movement shackled themselves to the doors of the Armenian government building to prevent Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other cabinet members from entering it.

"Pashinyan and his supporters should not enter the building," said one of the protesters.

At the moment, several activists remain chained to the doors, the police are trying to remove the chains. A special police detachment is on duty at the scene of the incident, the report added.

Meanwhile, Pashinyan instructed the heads of the law-enforcement agencies to punish those behind the protests against his arrival in Meghri and Agarak cities in Syunik region that borders on Azerbaijan. He stated this at a meeting in Kapan, Sputnik Armenia reported.

"I will say that there is a violation of the law. I expect that law-enforcement agencies will react harshly and in ways that are extremely visible to the public," Pashinyan said, addressing National Security Service Director Armen Abazyan and Police Chief Vaha Ghazaryan at a meeting in Kapan.

The prime minister said that an atmosphere of impunity cannot be allowed in Armenia.

On the morning of April 21, the prime minister was "greeted" stormily in Agarak. They shouted after him "Nikol, traitor!", "Nikol, go away!", there was a scuffle between the security officials and Pashinyan's opponents. The prime minister did not stay long and left Agarak. After that, he was forced to refuse to visit Meghri and Kajaran.

A number of Armenian media outlets reported that Pashinyan ordered the arrest of the former head of the Syunik region, Vahe Hakobyan. It should be noted that a criminal case was initiated against him on hooliganism charges over the incident in the Syunik region during Pashinyan's visit, Sputnik Armenia added.

In a separate report on April 22, Sputnik said that lawyer Gayane Papoyan announced on her Facebook page that Meghri mayor Mkhitar Zakaryan was taken to the police station. 

The lawyer noted that there is no exact information about the police station the mayor had been taken to.

"Now we have no exact information about where he was taken. First, they said that to the Meghri police station, then to Kapan. And now there is information that he is being taken to Yerevan, accompanied by several buses with policemen," Papoyan said.

Demonstrations demanding Pashinyan's resignation began throughout Armenia after he signed along with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in November 2020 a trilateral statement to put an end to the hostilities that began on September 27 in and around Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region. In accordance with the provisions of the document, Baku regained control over a number of formerly Armenian occupied regions, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin corridor. The opposition considers Pashinyan to be responsible for this outcome.


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