January 22
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YEREVAN. – Speaking to Aravot (Morning) newspaper of Armenia, Tigran Hayrapetyan, who is the attorney of opposition Founding Parliament initiative member Garo Yegnukian who is charged with aiding the Sasna Tsrer armed group—that took over a police patrol regiment building in capital city Yerevan—and is under detention for about a year, commented on the US Embassy in Yerevan statement that US visas will not be issued to those that took over this police regiment.

Also, the embassy announced that these people will not be eligible for US-funded programs.

“The state itself decides the domains of its activities—including donation—which are under its jurisdiction,” Hayrapetyan noted. “If this is how the US embassy finds, what can we do?”

In his words, “If the embassy decided to have only certain groups of people participate in its programs, there is no problem; it is the decision-maker.”

The attorney stated, however, that Yegnukian did not take part in the takeover of the said police building and did not help any of the members of this armed group in any way.

“Even if the US embassy makes any decision regarding Garo Yegnukian, it will be a violation of the presumption of innocence,” Tigran Hayrapetyan added. “Even if such a thing happens, we will go to court.”

The Sasna Tsrer armed group took over a police patrol regiment building in capital city Yerevan, held hostages, but later surrendered in July 2016.

Garo Yegnukian is both an Armenian and a US citizen.

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