STEPANAKERT—After an incident on Friday where two civilians were beaten by members of the Artsakh National Security Service, protests erupted in Stepanakert and have been continuing, and gaining momentum, for a second day.
After Friday’s scuffle, 15 people were arrested by Artsakh police.
At Stepanakert’s bus station, hundreds of protesters gathered on Saturday calling for the resignation of Artsakh law enforcement officials.
In response to the protests, Artsakh’s Defense Ministry issued a statement on Sunday calling on all citizens to refrain from escalating the situation and the use of force.
“Accepting the absolute supremacy of the constitutional rights of every citizen and regarding any manifestation of violence as unacceptable and condemnable, the Artsakh Ministry of Defense urges all to refrain from taking any dangerous steps that will further artificially aggravate the domestic state of affairs in our country that already faces external threats and to seek purley legal solutions,” warned the Artsakh Defense Ministry.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Artsakh Central Committee issued a statement on Sunday calling for those responsible for the June 1 incident to be brought to justice swiftly.
“For our country, stability, democracy and respect for citizens’ rights are utmost importance,” said the Artsakh ARF’s announcement. “The rule of law is above all else both for the leadership and for the public.”
“The ARF Artsakh Central Committee calls on all relevant bodies to bring all those responsible for the June 1 incident to accountability in front of the law,” said the ARF adding that if believes it is important to take steps against all officials who have failed in their responsibilities in the aforementioned and other recent such incidents.
On Sunday, Artsakh State Minister Arayik Harutyunyan met with protesters on the streets of Stepanakert saying that some of the issued raised by them were justified, taking responsibility for some of the concerns brought up by the protesters.
“There are always faults and imperfections during work. I am convinced that the current disenchantment is not completely connected with the power structures, since there are number of social problems in our country. President Bako Sahakian has given instructions to solve the urgent problems as soon as possible,’’ said Harutyunyan.
Meanwhile, outside on the streets of Stepanakert, the protesters called for the release of all political prisoners in Armenia and calls for reunification of Artsakh with Armenia are growing.
Asbarez is following this developing story.