ARF Student Leader Kidnapped; Car Runs Over Opposition Protesters

Protesters block an intersection in Yerevan and demand Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's resignation
Protesters block an intersection in Yerevan and demand Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's resignation

Protesters block an intersection in Yerevan and demand Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation

A leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Nikol Aghbalian Student Association was reportedly kidnapped on Thursday by a group of people claiming to be plain-clothed officers. In another part of Yerevan, a vehicle ran over opposition protesters who had blocked an intersection as act of defiance in their continuing demonstrations demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.

Gerasim Vardanyan, a leader of the ARF Aghbalian students was forcefully pushed into a vehicle after a group of men approached him on a street in Yerevan claiming to be plain-clothed officers who were there to escort him for questioning at the police station.

Vardanayn resisted the men and asked them to present police identification, which they refused. Following a brief verbal scuffle, Vardanyan was grabbed by the alleged assailants and thrown in an SUV.

Mediaport, a channel on the Russian Telegram social media platform posted a video of the incident.

ARF officials have not heard from their fellow member and do not have information about his whereabouts.

Gerasim Vardanyan

Gerasim Vardanyan

Earlier on Thursday, a group of opposition demonstrators blocked major intersections in Yerevan as a expression of their protests against Pashinyan.

The protesters blocked an intersection at Amiryan Street and Mashtots Avenue, as well as one on Baghramyan Avenue and Moskovyan Street and another at the intersection of Mets Tirgan and Khanjyan avenues.
The peaceful protesters were singing patriotic songs and chanting anti-government slogans, while always allowing emergency vehicles and other first responders to pass through their human chains.

At one of the intersections, however, a car deliberately drove at the protesters hitting some of the demonstrators.

Opposition forces have been staging protests since the signing of an agreement by Pashinyan and the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan that ended military actions in Karabakh, but stipulated the surrender of territory in Artsakh to Azerbaijan including Shushi.

A gathering is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

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