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Anti-Government Protests Continue In Yerevan Amid Fury Over Karabakh Deal


ARMENIA -- People protest during a rally against the country's agreement to end fighting with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Yerevan, November 12, 2020

Armenian opposition groups are continuing their protests to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian over the terms he agreed to in a Russian-brokered accord with Azerbaijan that ended more than six weeks of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Several thousand protesters marched through the streets of Yerevan on November 12, shouting anti-Pashinian slogans such as “Traitor, go away!”

They also went to the National Security Service building where over a dozen leaders of the protest are kept mainly on charges of organizing mass disorders.

The protesters described these leaders, including Prosperous Armenia Party chairman Gagik Tsarukian, Homeland Party leader Artur Vanetsian, Dashnaktsutun’s Ishkhan Saghatelian and others, as political prisoners and called for their release.

Human rights activist Avetik Ishkhanian compared the situation to Stalin-era purges. He challenged one of the grounds for detentions – martial law, under which political gatherings are banned in the country. “What martial law are you talking about after surrender?” he said.

Protesters then gathered again in Liberty Square in the evening to stage a rally at which speakers, including members of Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun, again demanded Pashinian’s resignation. They said protests will be continued on Friday.

Separately, supporters of the opposition group Sasna Tsrer held a rally in central Yerevan but canceled a planned march in the city after police told them to disband, citing martial law.

A number of demonstrators who refused to leave the area were detained by security forces.

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