A civil activist campaigning against the rise in utility prices has been summoned to Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) after publicly threatening to carry out an act of terrorism.
Vaghinak Shushanian, one of the citizens who participated in street protests against the decision to raise electricity tariffs by 10 percent, attended the July 1 meeting of the Public Services Regulatory Commission as a delegate of the protesters.
At the meeting he stated that he would not pay for electricity at a higher rate. “I am a student and I have a disabled mother and sister in my care… I won’t pay. If I have to, I will commit an act of terrorism, let everyone hear this,” he said, reacting angrily to the regulatory body’s decision.
The young man said he had been summoned to the NSS’s anti-terrorism department where he spent an hour on Friday morning.
His mother, who also came along with him to the NSS, insisted that her son is not a terrorist. “He was angry and did not think about what he was saying… The one who intends to do such a thing does not talk about it, he acts. It’s ridiculous,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am).
Shushanian said that at the NSS he was told not to say such things again.
“They said they were sure that I wouldn’t act on my threats, but said that other people could follow this bad example,” he said.
“I ask everyone not to follow my example. I said that because of my emotional state at that moment,” the activist concluded.