“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that plainclothes men are primarily responsible for excessive use of force by the Armenian police during Tuesday’s breakup of the protest in Yerevan against electricity price increases. “Those people are usually well-built, look dumb and wear plain clothes,” writes the pro-opposition paper. “That is why it is not clear whether they are undercover policemen, security agents or some creatures bred for that purpose. But there is no doubt that they cooperate with the police.”
“Aravot” likewise alleges that many police officers displayed “sadistic” behavior during the crackdown. “A plainclothes policeman lashing out at people is at least a hooligan, if not a more serious felon,” writes the paper. It also condemns the police for attacking journalists and smashing their equipment.
“The police had no right to disperse the protesters,” reads a headline in “Zhoghovurd.” The paper cites a clause in an Armenian law on public gatherings which requires the police to “help” participants of peaceful demonstrations. It claims that security forces on Tuesday sought to not only unblock Yerevan’s Marshal Bagramian Avenue but also intimidate the protesters.
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that the number of young people demonstrating in Yerevan is “larger than many would have expected.” “That is a real force, which is encouraging in the sense that we have a fighting young generation setting objectives, having strong opinions and expressing them,” writes the paper sympathetic to President Serzh Sarkisian. It also says that the police were “somewhat restrained” in dealing with the protesters, arguing that none of them suffered severe injuries.