Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Armenia opposition youth attacked in downtown Yerevan

Tonight opposition youth distributing leaflets about tomorrow's rally was attacked in downtown Yerevan by unknown group of people, some reportedly wearing gun. Reports indicate that at least three youth activists were injured. Reports allege that the attackers were National Security employees disguised as civilians. In its late night statement, opposition Armenian National Congress informs about the incident indicating at "unknown attackers".


Merry Prankster said...

This is very, very disturbing. I wonder if it's getting much news coverage (on Armenian television that is)? When I get home, I'll turn on Armenia TV (or whatever channel it is that we have) to check it out. Do you know if the other victims are okay? And has this happened before? I don't pay much attention to events in Armenia, but I am in a state of disbelief.

artmika said...

It is disturbing, and it's not the first time that similar attacks happened. This news did not get much coverage, as yet, except for some online media and blogs. Normally, TV coverage of such incidents is not satisfactory, if at all, so I would rather read newspapers or (better) online sources. As far as I understand, but it's not clear yet, injuries for the other two victims are not as serious; only one guy got serious injuries. But, again, the picture will be clearer tomorrow when more info will be available.

Ani said...

Attacks on youth distributing leaflets have happened before every opposition rally, in various forms. By now, Merry Prankster, you will have found out that you heard nothing about it on your TV channel (owned by govt. friends)--no different than if you watched a Chinese-govt.-owned channel and looked for opposition information there.

Like Mika said, look at Internet sources--the ones posted at the bottom of this blog are some of the best places to start. Here's a story update from ArmeniaNow:

Anonymous said...

anzen achqov el ervuma dzever en anum. nayeq te vonc 'tuzhvatsn' mek mek achqerov stugum er chisht camerain e erevum te che. naev ver kenalis shat ashkhozh glukhn u dzerqern sharzhec harmar taghavorvelu npatakov. nuinisk koghqic khosacoghneri asacnern en kazmakerpats. Zzveli e lprtsun intrigan lakotnerin 'opposicia' kochel!

artmika said...

RFE/RL: Police Accused Of Fresh Violence Against Opposition Youths

Several opposition youths suffered injuries in the city center on Wednesday evening as they informed passersby through loudspeakers and leaflets about Thursday’s rally by the Armenian National Congress (HAK). Three of them were rushed to hospital for treatment.

The victims told RFE/RL that they were punched, kicked and pistol-whipped by more than a dozen men who did not identify themselves or make any demands. “They pulled me from the back and toppled to the ground,” said Sahak Muradian, a 14-year-old HAK supporter. “One of them said, ‘You too are from the opposition?’ And then five or six of them started beating me. One of them also hit me with a pistol.”

Sona Sevoyan, an eyewitness, said: “One tall guy shouted, ‘Pull out your guns.’ Four of them took out their pistols and one stuck it to Sahak’s head. I feared that they will shoot him.”

“They were plainclothes policemen,” claimed Herbert Gevorgian, 16, who also required hospitalization. “We saw them outside the Kentron police earlier.”

The police confirmed that claim but came up with a totally different version of events. A police statement said law-enforcement at the scene only tried to stop a brawl involving 60 youths. It said the latter defied police orders and attacked some of the officers.

“During the incident several police servicemen received bodily injuries while another was taken to the Surp Grigor Lusavorich medical center in an unconscious state,” the statement said, adding that the three hospitalized youths were among those who attacked them.

Similar incidents occurred on the eve of previous rallies held by the HAK. The opposition alliance accused the Armenian government and police of orchestrating the violence to lower attendance at anti-government protests. The police denied any wrongdoing, saying that police officers themselves were assaulted by opposition activists.

Haik said...

He was putting his hand on his liver by reflex. A very "popular" place to hit by cops or by professionals who know where to hit.
Next day the same thing happened , now to kids who are around assisting.

Anonymous said...

One of them Tigran Araqelyan was arested 3 hours ago!

artmika said...

More details: Opposition youth activist Tigran Arakelyan has been arrested today, HIMA pro-opposition youth movement reports, as per below.

Young Oppositional Activist Has Been Arrested

Today young oppositional activist Tigran Arakelyan has been arrested by the Armenian Police based on the fabricated charge for hooliganism.

On 1 July 2009 about 15 policemen in civilian dressing attacked with guns about 30 young oppositional activists who distributed leaflets informing upcoming upcoming opposition rally to be held on 2 July 2009 in Yerevan. 3 of them was severally beaten and taken to the hospital Surb Grigor Lusavorich.

Now they fabricated a criminal case of hooliganism and arrested one of the beaten young activists.

Please spread the word about this evident act of injustice and disrespect of basic human rights by the Armenian authorities.

Merry Prankster said...

Although the actions of these people disgust me, I'm glad that there are those who spread news about what is really going on. Since I'm so out of touch (I only have that one government channel, don't live in Armenia, and don't know many Armenians outside of my family), could you tell me where you get your information from? What are good sources, and good ways to keep informed about this and other situations?

Merry Prankster said...

Oops, now I see that there are some sources provided in this blog. :)

artmika said...

Armenia, Azerbaijan: youth activists, bloggers under attack. Where are the Voices?