YEREVAN. – What happened a few days ago in Ijevan is disorder and hooliganism. The Chief of Police of Armenia, Valeriy Osipyan, noted this at a press conference on Wednesday. He added that a respective criminal case has been filed on charges of showing resistance to representatives—i.e., the police—of the country’s authorities.
“Our objective is to find them and to bring them to account with full gravity of the law,” Osipyan said. “At present, we have 29 detainees, 13 were arrested, [and] 10 were incarcerated two days ago; works in that direction will be continuous. We have a list of those who have had a more active role on that day, including, have caused bodily injuries to policemen.”
The Police Chief announced that the Police of Armenia will be more principled this time and will not permit any illegal logging in the country.
“We [the police] have always fought against illegal logging, we have numerous [respective] cases that are filed, those that are detained, etc.,” Osipyan continued. “It’s just that, we will be even more principled, since this [the forests] is the wealth of the Republic of Armenia.”
And to the remark that there is a view that oligarchs are actually behind this illegal logging in Armenia, Valeriy Osipyan responded as follows: “We have persons in the view towards whom operative actions are being carried out. (...). We have an alleged suspect, but the [respective] grounds need to be clear.”
On the evening of July 17, numerous residents of Ijevan town blocked the Armenia-Georgia interstate motorway in protest against the incumbent authorities’ tougher stance on illegal logging. A clash ensued between demonstrators and police. Subsequently, the police detained several people from their homes. The demonstrators argue that they are able to make a living solely by logging.