Police searched over the weekend the Yerevan apartments of two activists connected with a fugive opposition leader wanted by Armenian law-enforcement authorities for his role in last year’s post-election unrest.
One of the opposition activists, Aramazd Ghalamkarian, told RFE/RL that several police officers visited his home early on Saturday and showed a search warrant issued by a court. “They conducted the search and took away my computer, video and photo cameras, computer diskettes, other information carriers and papers,” he said.
Ghalamkarian said he was then taken to the Yerevan headquarters of the Special Investigative Service (SIS), a law-enforcement agency leading the criminal investigation into the March 2008 deadly clashes between security forces and opposition protesters. He said SIS officials briefly spoke with him and summoned him to a formal interrogation on Friday.
According to the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), the police also searched the apartment of another opposition supporter, Karo Simidian, and confiscated his computer. The police had no comment on its reported actions.
Simidia’s son and Ghalamkarian are known to be close friends of Nikol Pashinian, the editor of the opposition daily “Haykakan Zhamanak” who played an active role in massive demonstrations staged by opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian following the February 2008 presidential election. Pashinian went into hiding following the March 1 clashes to avoid arrest on coup charges that were also brought against other prominent opposition figures.
Seven of them were arrested and went on a collective trial in December. The trial was cut short earlier this month after Armenian prosecutors dropped the coup charges. The oppositionists will now be tried separately by different courts only for allegedly organizing the clashes that left ten people dead. The case against Pashinian has also been revised accordingly.