Armenia crisis: opposition leader arrested, full update

Activists of '#merjirserjin' initiative hold a protest rally against RA Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan on the Republic Square of Yerevan, Armenia
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Three opposition MPs of the Armenian parliament Nikol Pashinyan, Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasun Mikaelyan were detained on charges of organizing and holding illegal mass meetings, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia said.

This may have been in response to the ultimatum given by these opposition leaders to Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan.

According to the report, Ara Babloyan, Chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia, was informed about the detention of the deputies.

The Prosecutor General’s Office informs that the deputies, violating the law on freedom of assembly, organized meetings on April 13, ignoring the restrictions of the Yerevan City Hall.

“During illegal actions, the persons led by the deputies periodically violated a number of provisions of the law on peaceful assembly, hampered the free movement of citizens, entered and entered a number of buildings, did not inform their supporters about the police’s demands to stop the meetings.”

“Pashinyan, Mikaelyan and Mirzoyan encouraged participants in meetings to block the streets, block the entrances to the buildings of state bodies, break into state buildings, paralyze their work,” the Prosecutor General’s Office noted.

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Earlier it was reported that the police began dispersing the demonstrators who resumed the march on Sunday after the failed negotiations of the opposition leader Nicola Pashinyan with the Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan and that the police used special weapons – flash guns.

Dialogue between the Prime Minister of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the leader of the movement “My step” Nikol Pashinyan actually broke down. Already at the very beginning of the meeting, Sargsyan stated that he hardly imagines how to conduct negotiations in the presence of so many journalists.

Pashinyan said in response that there seems to be some misunderstanding, as they are here only to discuss the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan, and not to negotiate.

The head of government described Pashinyan’s words as blackmail, noting that he and his supporters do not realize the danger of the situation, and the tragic events of March 1, 2008, did not teach them anything.

“In these conditions, I can only advise you to act within the law. If not, then all further responsibility will fall on them, “- warned the Prime Minister.

Pashinyan said that no one can speak with them in the language of ultimatums and threats. According to him, the situation in Armenia is no longer the same as it was 15-20 days ago.

“The power in Armenia passed to the people,” Pashinyan said.

 

Sargsyan noted that the faction, which collected 7-8% of the votes in the last parliamentary elections, has no right to speak in the language of ultimatums.

“This is not a negotiation, not a dialogue. This is blackmail and an ultimatum, “Sargsyan said. After that he rose abruptly and left the room.

Remaining with journalists, Pashinyan urged the people to continue mass demonstrations and processions, since Sargsyan does not have full control over the situation. The oppositionist said that at 19:00 on the square of the Republic the  rally will continue every day.

According to him, it is necessary to continue pressure until the sense of an adequate assessment of the situation in Sargsyan is restored.

“We need to double the resistance. And all this should happen non-violent methods. Sargsyan’s threats have no legal basis, for the constitution clearly states that the police have no right and moreover, is obliged within the framework of their duties to promote the safety of protesters if they are of a peaceful nature,” Pashinyan added.

 

translated by J. Flores from Rusvesna
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