YEREVAN. – About forty minutes ago, the demonstrators blocked two intersections in downtown Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. They had brought city benches and garbage bins to close off the streets.
Even though police had brought a truck to remove these benches and waste bins, the keys of this truck had disappeared. Nonetheless, the police managed to remove this barrier and reopen the road.
Also, they were warning the drivers of the cars blocking their way, and by saying that they will remove their vehicles with a two truck.
These demonstrators are primarily the students of the nearby Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, and activists who have joined them.
Separately, police officers stopped a public transit vehicle at Azatutyun Avenue, took its passengers out, and started to forcibly put them in a bus, in order to take them to a police station.
The driver of this bus, however, refused to drive these detained persons to the police precinct. As a result, the police took the keys to this bus from his hands, and took these persons to the police station with public transit.
There is tension between demonstrators and police in Yerevan, since Friday morning. Activists are attempting to block streets, including with cars, whereas the police try to open these streets.
In addition, police officers, including those in civilian clothes, are detaining demonstrators, and, moreover, with non-police vehicles.
A number of Yerevan streets and avenues, the Davtashen Bridge, Yeghvard Highway, and Yerevan-Abovyan motorway were closed off and then opened since the morning.
As of 1pm, Yerevan police detained 107 people, including the son of Nikol Pashinyan—“My Step” initiative leader, opposition Civil Contract Party member, and National Assembly (NA) “Way Out” (Yelk) Faction head—who was later released.
Pashinyan on Thursday announced that on Friday, they will resume their protest action of total blockade of Yerevan streets. Also, he noted that they will close off subway stations, too, and called on everyone to either not go to work or to join them on Friday.
Nikol Pashinyan and his supporters are staging protests in Yerevan ever since April 13, and by marching, holding rallies, as well as blocking streets and squares. They protest against ex-President Serzh Sargsyan being elected Prime Minister of Armenia.
As a result of the clashes during these demonstrations, 46 people—including Pashinyan—were injured, and police detained several dozen people, including minors.
In addition, a criminal case has been filed into the protesters’ bursting into the Public Radio of Armenia building and regarding an incident that occurred at an intersection in downtown Yerevan.
Ex-President Serzh Sargsyan was elected Prime Minister at Tuesday’s NA special session, and by a vote of 77 for and 18 against.