Մատչելիության հղումներ

Five Held Over Anti-Government Protest In Yerevan


Armenia -- Protesters demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian's resignation clash with riot police outside the main government building in Yerevan, January 28, 2021.

Law-enforcement authorities arrested five protesters who clashed with riot police while demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s resignation on Thursday.

They were among several hundred people who rallied outside the main government building in Yerevan. The demonstration was organized by several nationalist activists holding Pashinian responsible for the outcome of the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Riot police used force against the protesters when the latter tried to break into the building that houses the prime minister’s office.

In a statement announcing the arrests on Friday, Armenia’s Investigative Committee described the protesters’ actions as an attempt to seize the building.

The law-enforcement agency said the five detainees are suspected of violating relevant articles of the Armenian Criminal Code. It did not identify any of them.

The organizers of Thursday’s protest are not known to be linked to a coalition of 17 Armenian opposition groups that staged a series of anti-government demonstrations late last year in a bid to force Pashinian to resign and hand over power to an interim government. The prime minister has rejected the opposition demands.

In a separate development, the National Security Service (NSS) arrested and indicted Vahan Badasian, a prominent war veteran from Karabakh who called for Pashinian’s ouster earlier on Thursday.

Badasian said that Pashinian will be removed from power “physically” and through an armed revolt if he keeps refusing to step down. “Let the NSS arrest me,” he told reporters at Yerevan’s Yerablur Military Pantheon.

The NSS said on Friday that Badasian has been formally charged with calling for a violent overthrow of the constitutional order. A Yerevan court was due to decide later in the day whether to allow investigators to hold him in pre-trial detention.

Badasian’s lawyer, Arayik Papikian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that his client rejects the accusation as politically motivated.

XS
SM
MD
LG