In the last 10 days, thousands of citizens marched in the Armenian capital of Yerevan and in other regions to protest the actions of former President Serj Sargsyan, who after finishing his second and final term in office earlier this month, is now Prime Minister. Following a 2015 constitutional referendum the country shifted from a presidential system to a parliamentary republic - relegating the presidency to a more ceremonial role.
After rising to power in early 2008 through rigged elections and violence, Former president Sargsyan won a second term in early 2013 through falsified elections. During his tenure, President Sargsyan initiated changes to the Armenian constitution to transfer the country’s governance structure into a new parliamentary system and establish power of one political party in the parliament.
After today’s brief meeting with Serj Sargsyan, Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of the opposition party, and the thousands of demonstrators gathered in the Republic Square marched to Yerevan’s Erebuni district. Civil disobedience throughout the period was not violent. On April 16 demonstrators tried to block Baghramyan Avenue, where the office of Prime Minister the Parliament are located, and continued their peaceful protests, a clash broke out between police and peaceful demonstrators, as a result of which the police used special means against demonstrators. As a result, there were 46 wounded, including 40 peaceful demonstrators. mostly youngsters. Today, on April 22, the police used the special means again. Many demonstrators were injured.
Once Pashinyan was detained, riot police used stun grenades against the crowd and began mass beatings and detentions.
Demonstrators are gathering in the Republic Square, where police have already concentrated forces and are pushing protesters away from the area. Other protester groups are blocking street across Yerevan. thousands are marching across Yerevan and the regions of Armenia; traffic in many parts of the capital is paralyzed. A lot of villagers are blocking highways leading to the capital.
Despite police states that the rallies are illegal and urged them to immediately leave the area and threat to use special measures, peaceful demonstrators continue the non-violent actions. Masked officers of the police special forces are flooding the square. The marches are being overseen by a small number of mainly civilian-clad police officers.
More than 200 demonstrators have already been detained.
1. Statement on Police Brutality Against Protesters- “Women in Black, Armenia” PeaceBuilding Initiative. - https://bit.ly/2HjnEBX
2. Thousands Continue Flooding Yerevan Streets After Pashinyan Arrest. - https://bit.ly/2HRoKWI
3. Protestors in Armenia march for democracy. - https://bit.ly/2HjSNJw
4. What now after a week of protests in Armenia? - https://bit.ly/2HiGWvn
5. Armenia’s unpopular president makes himself prime minister. - https://econ.st/2HFe8fZ
6. Pashinyan Detained by Police After Talks with PM Collapse. - https://bit.ly/2K3Ki38
7. Armenian Protest Leader Detained. - https://bit.ly/2HHeGC1
8. Armenia unrest: Police detain protest leader Nikol Pashinyan. - https://bbc.in/2JgAyS2