As Protests Continue, 47 Arrested over Police Compound Seizure

A member of the "Daredevils of Sasoun" is being escorted by police after the group surrendered Sunday
A member of the "Daredevils of Sasoun" is being escorted by police after the group surrendered Sunday

A member of the “Daredevils of Sasoun” is being escorted by police after the group surrendered Sunday

YEREVAN—Armenia’s National Security Service said on Monday that 47 people have been arrested in connection with the seizure of a police compound on July 17 by a group calling itself the “Daredevils of Sasoun,” which surrendered Sunday saying they did not want bloodshed in the country. Meanwhile, disgruntled citizens continued their protests demanding a “legitimate government” in Armenia.

The NSS said that among the 47 were the 20 “Daredevil” members who laid down their weapons and surrendered on Sunday, ending a standoff that gave way to massive protests calling for regime change in Armenia. The NSS said that 10 members of the group had been arrested earlier.

According to the NSS, some political figures who had been rounded up last week are among the 47 being held in connection with the police compound seizure. The agency did not provide names.

After announcing their surrender, Varujan Avetisyan, a leader of the “Daredevils of Sasoun” said that they would continue their struggle for radical reforms as “political prisoners.”

In announcing the group’s surrender, the NSS labeled the group “terrorists,” but in announcing the 47 arrests the agency did not cite the legal provisions in Armenia’s criminal code that deal with “terrotism.”

Armenia’s Health Ministry reported that there were 17 people still hospitalized as the result of clashes between police, demonstrators and journalists on Friday, among then three police officers and two journalists, who continue to receive medical treatment at area hospitals.

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2 Comments

  1. helen takessian said:

    Oh now I understand the legitimate government is when you plot to take over police stations, incite violence and disobey police orders .
    I thought it was legitimate when the majority of voters choose who they want in power under international watchers who stated the vote was valid and unblemished. I thought Armenian citizens knew what democracy was but evidently Civic lessons should be mandatory in public schools.

  2. edward demian said:

    Without direct representation in the political process, what effect can the Armenian Diaspora have on local politics. Besides, the Diaspora is largely made up of Middle class people who shun civil disorder. What is happening on the streets of Erevan is reminiscent of the Negro riots of the sixties and seventies in the US. Example of an adolescent Democracy. To have a Western style Democracy, one needs western values. I read articles about vote buying in Armenia. I think the going rate is under ten dollars. The disenfranchised citizens that are rioting and performing armed takeovers, are they the ones that sold their votes, or are they rioting because their bretheren have sold their votes? A democracy is as elegant as it’s participants.

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