Police detained two men on Friday night just hours after yet another Armenian opposition activist was attacked and injured on the street.
The incident occurred in the central Armenian town of Hrazdan. Ashot Piliposian, the leader of the local chapter of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), was hospitalized with serious injuries.
Lying in his hospital bed, Piliposian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that two unknown men beat him up after one of them phoned and asked him to come out “for a talk.” “I suppose that this is connected with my political activities,” he said.
In a statement issued later in the evening, the Armenian police identified the attackers as Pargev Manukian and Roman Manukian and said they are residents of a nearby village. The statement said the two men visited a police station in Hrazdan and “confessed that they argued with Ashot Piliposian because of mutual personal insults.”
The police did not specify whether the reasons for the row were political. Nor was it clear whether the suspects were placed under arrest pending investigation.
The incident took place the day another senior HAK figure, Aram Manukian, was beaten up in similar circumstances in Yerevan. Three other activists involved in recent anti-government protests organized by the HAK and its opposition allies were assaulted earlier this week.
Earlier on Friday, senior representatives of the HAK held urgent meetings with the U.S., British and German ambassadors to Armenia to discuss those incidents.
The opposition party led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian has accused the Armenian authorities of orchestrating the violence to bully the opposition. Representatives of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party deny these allegations.