Other opposition leaders also detained
Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia Ishkhan Saghatelyan was taken into custody by Armenia’s National Security Service agents who went to the ARF headquarters in Armenia.
As the leader of the ARF in Armenia, Saghatelyan has been in the forefront of the movement to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan after it was revealed that he signed an “end of war” agreement with the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on Monday. The agreement, which ended the military aggression against Artsakh, also stipulates the surrender of wide swath of territory in Artsakh, including Shushi.
The agreement also called the for the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces to Artsakh. Those forces, numbering the thousands, have already arrived in Artsakh and set up a command center in Stepanakert.
Thousands of people gathered in Yerevan’s Republic Square on Wednesday to demand Pashinyan’s resignation. Saghatelyan and other organizers of the protest have given Pashinyan until midnight local time to resign.
The NSS officer, identified as Lieutenant General Sargsyan, entered the offices of the ARF Supreme Council of Armenia to apprehend the Saghatelyan. ARF member Bagrat Yesayan, who was in the office, began recording the process and streamed live on Facebook. That post has since been removed from the social media site.
Lt. General Sargsyan said there was no written request for detention. After a brief discussion, Saghatelyan went with the NSS officer and his entourage.
“I will come with you right now if you promise that tomorrow you will go after Nikol [Pashinyan],” Saghatelyan told the NNS officer Sargsyan, who tacitly agreed to the ARF leader’s request.
The NSS also took into custody the news director of the Yerevan-based Yerkir Media television network, Gegham Manoukyan.
Earlier on Wednesday, Gagik Tsarukyan, the head of the Prosperous Armenia Party and Artur Vanetsyan the head of the Homeland Party were also taken to NSS headquarters. Both opposition leaders were part of a grouping of 17 political parties that called for Pashinyan’s resignation on Monday and are also organizers of Wednesday’s protests in Yerevan.