Saturday, 1 March 2008

Police Disperse Protesters in Armenia (2)

*For more UPDATES - HERE

*UPDATE 24 - Rally in front of French embassy
Levon Ter-Petrosyan campaign team has just issued a statement calling its supporters and anyone who is not indifferent to gather for a rally in front of French embassy in Yerevan (Lragir). According to reports, thousands of people are currently there and there is non-stop flow of people towards French embassy in Yerevan.

*UPDATE 23 - Waiting for Ter-Petrosyan
Hetq reports that "tens of thousands people in front of French embassy in Yerevan are waiting for Levon Ter-Petrosyan to come." Among protesters are Nikol Pashinyan (whose whereabout was not known before), Khachatur Sukiasyan, Suren Abrahamyan, Myasnik Malkhasyan, Sasun Mikaelyan and Stepan Demirchyan.

*UPDATE 22 - Heritage Condemns
1 March 2008 For Immediate Release

Yerevan-With a brutality that is characteristic of the incumbent Armenian authorities and in a severe violation of the provisions laid down by the country’s constitution and the international Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the police, in the early hours of today. attacked the peaceful protesters of Liberty Square.

They dispersed the thousands of participants who have been rallying in the past ten days. According to the preliminary reports, there are numerous injured, several casualties as well as countless people whose whereabouts are not known.

The Heritage Party deplores this modus operandi of communicating with the people solely by the use of brutal force. The rulers of today have once again placed themselves beyond the law and confirmed their tyranny to the entire world.

The disgraceful presidential elections, recently held with an unprecedented number of law violations, is subsequently followed by this crime which the current administration committed against its own people. In view of this tragedy, it would be meaningless to now speak about the establishment of a legitimate presidential institution in Armenia. It is beyond any doubt that such atrocious methods will bring forth huge problems for the country in terms of meeting its foreign and domestic challenges.

Against the backdrop of the ruling administration’s appeals for collaboration-appeals which were made to their “brothers and sisters” assembled at the Liberty Square-this abhorring action also stands as a vivid example of the dual ethics by which the current administration is governed.

Heritage urges the free citizens of Armenia to stand firm against brutal force and to continue their fight for civil rights and human dignity. Our country deserves a legitimate government that enjoys public trust, and the shared spiritual desire and the justified struggle of the people will ultimately give birth to such a government.

Thousads keep gathering in front of French embassy in Yerevan, despite intimidations and excessive presence of riot police. There is possibility, as Echannel reports, that (thanks to negotiations between Ter-Petrosyan campaign team and police forces) people will be allowed to march towards Matenadaran. However, at the moment, as Lragir reports, people keep gathering in front of French Embassy. (photos via Hetq Online and

“We are waiting for the Constitutional Court. If it does not invalidate the election outcome, we will go forward,” he said vaguely.

Though officially not under arrest, Ter-Petrosyan is in effect isolated as police have surround his home.

He did not rule out that a spontaneous outpouring of popular support would start. “If no curfew is set or state of emergency is declared, this movement will grow,” Ter-Petrosyan said. (, photo via A1+)

*UPDATE 19 - photo of injured in Yerevan hospital (via RFE/RL)

Yerevan /Mediamax/. Ex-President of Armenia stated in Yerevan today that, having dispersed the rally of his supporters, “the Armenian authorities not only threw down a challenge to their people, but also to the international community”. Mediamax reports that Levon Ter-Petrosian said this at a news conference today at his place. According to him, “in the course of the recent week, the Armenian authorities were lulling the vigilance of international organizations, promising that they would not use force against the peace[ful] demonstrators”.

“One can expect anything from these authorities, since they have a large baggage of crimes – political assassinations, corruption, the responsibility for the terrorist act in the parliament on October 27 of 1999”, the Ex-President stated.

“The Armenian authorities threw down a challenge to the whole world”, Levon Ter-Petrosian stated.

*UPDATE 17 - Arrested and injured (via Lragir and A1+, as for 2.23pm local time)
1. Davit Matevosyan
2. Armen Ohanyan
3. Davit Arakelyan (Police Central Department)
4. Vahagn Hayotsyan (Police Central Department)
5. Aram Manukyan (Police Central Department)
6. Masis Aivazyan
7. Levik Khachatryan
8. Hrant Bagratyan
9. Gagik Shamshyan, reporter (Police Kanaker Department)
10.Koryun Mheryan (Martuni Police Department)
11.Vemir Mkhitaryan (Martuni Police Department)
12. Gevorg Simonyan (Martuni Police Department)
13. Tsatur Sevoyan (Martuni Police Department)

1. Vahagn Khachatryan
2. Alexander Arzumanyan
3. Ararat Zurabyan
4. Christ Manuk Manukyan
5. Manuel Manuk Manukyan
6. Tigran Baghdasaryan
7. Martin Petrosyan
8. Avetik Ishkhanyan

1. Aram Bareghamyan (Republic Hospital)
2. Babken Atoyan (Republic Hospital)
3. 3 people at Ambulance Station
4. 6 citizens, 1 policeman (Masiv Hospital, reanimation department)

"Ter-Petrosyan supporter Yerjanik Abgaryan speaking on behalf of Ter-Petrosyan (who is said to be under house arrest) urged people to Republic Square, which is a few hundred meters from Grigor Lusavorich street where the current protest is staged. He also said, apparently again speaking on behalf of Ter-Petrosyan, that “Europe has abandoned the Armenian people” and urged people not to rely on the world community and take the fate into their own hands.

In a separate development, Yerkir Media reports that Ter-Petrosyan’s supporter MP Khachatur Sukiasyan’s house was searched in the morning. Sukiasyan is reported to have surrendered his weapon that he possesses legally, according to a state license." (

Unconfirmed reports on mass arrests of opposition leaders/supporters, including former prime minister Hrant Bagratyan.

Reports that police forces circled people protesting in front of French embassy and brutally attack some protesters, a witness told RFE/RL

"Heritage Party Parliament Member Anahit Bakshyan is among those who have been beaten outside the French Embassy. ArmeniaNow reporters witnessed the oppositionist MP being kicked and clubbed. Bakshyan’s driver tells ArmeniaNow that the MP was not injured in the confrontation.

As tension grows outside the embassy, an ArmeniaNow reporter working on the scene also witnessed as a 73-old-woman pensioner, demanding a “rule-of-law country”, tried to approach Ombudsman Armen Harutyunyan. The woman was hit by one of the police and her nose began to bleed."

*UPDATE 13 - first videos from Yerevan, via A1+

*For earlier news - HERE


Ani said...

Unzipped, you have done fantastic work! Here at last is a real New York Times article. Of course it took violence.... Please disseminate widely.

artmika said...

Thanks, Ani! Funnily enough, I was just reading NY Times article when got your comment, and am thinking the same way - at last some proper reporting. True, unfortunately, they started pay attention to Armenia events only when clashes began...

I will put link to that article in my "Police Disperse Protesters in Armenia (3)" post.