YEREVAN. – The Sasna Tsrer armed group supporters have blocked the entrances to the building of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia since Monday morning, and they demand the resignation of Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan.
“When our newly appointed Prime Minister announces that there shall not be political prisoners in Armenia, an underling [i.e. Davtyan] of his violates the reality and announces that there are no political prisoners in Armenia,” said a demonstrator. “This gives us grounds to believe that this [government] agency [i.e. the Prosecutor General’s Office], which has been working unlawfully there for years, again works unlawfully after this awakening of the people and wishes to again return the regime of [third President and ex-PM] Serzh Sargsyan. Until the [serving] Prosecutor [General] resigns, this agency can’t work because it doesn’t work for the benefit of the people.”
On May 16, the court denied the defense’s motion to release the Sasna Tsrer members. Subsequently, their supporters went out of the court building and blocked Arshakunyats Avenue in capital city Yerevan.
On the next day, new PM Nikol Pashinyan called on to end all protests, whereupon the aforesaid avenue was unblocked. Pashinyan had noted that the matter of political prisoners in Armenia shall be resolved through the use of the tools prescribed by law.
In protest of the then authorities, the Sasna Tsrer armed group had taken over a police patrol regiment building in Yerevan, held hostages, but later had surrendered in July 2016.
Three police officers were killed during the two-week standoff.