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27 Activists Detained: Yerevan Deputy Police Chief Justified Use of Force

All in all, 27 people were detained during today's protest against the electricity price hike

According to police, demonstrators were detained on the basis of Article 182 of Armenia's Administrative Code (disobeying the legitimate demands of the police). As reported by the Epress.am correspondent on the scene, a group of activists were detained after the demonstration: people were simply standing outside the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) building at 22 Martiros Saryan Street, doing nothing. Police officers used force and cursed at the protestors as they were detaining them. 

This, in particular, was how Harutyun Aghlamazyan was detained. After he was picked up by police, his friends appealed to Yerevan Deputy Police Chief Valery Osipyan who was on the scene, demanding he explain why "police officers are kidnapping citizens." Osipyan beckoned to one of the police officers, who said that the young man approached an officer from behind and struck him with his fist. The activists insisted that this was untrue. 

To all questions asked by journalists regarding the aggressive behavior of law enforcement officers, Osipyan replied as follows: "First, the rally was not spontaneous — it was planned on Facebook a few days ago. Second, police officers, yes, have the right to use force if necessary to maintain public order."


Note, police officers also seized and took to the station the activists' megaphone, as well as obstructing the work of journalists during the demonstration. 

A group of activists gathered outside the Kentron Police Division. Attorneys Gevorg Davtyan and Avag Lalayan were not yet allowed to meet with the detainees.