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Gyumri Protesters Present Their Demands to Authorities

Hundreds of people have gathered in front of the Russian consulate in the Armenian city of Gyumri on January 15, demanding that the suspect in the killings of 6 members of a local family, Russian soldier Valery Permyakov, as well as the investigation of the case be handed over to the Armenian law enforcement bodies. 

Riot police used batons and stun grenades to stop the protesters from closing on the consulate building. As a result of clashes between the protesters and the police forces, 10 people have been injured, another 12 have been detained. 

As the protest went on, the protesters demanded that a video evidence be presented that Permyakov is, in fact, still in the territory of Armenia.

Not receiving any response from authorities for more than two hours, people assembled at Gyumri square have developed the following demands, aimed at clarifying the uncertainties: Armenian authorities must take measures to obtain evidence from the Russian side that Valery Permyakov hasn’t left the  territory of Armenia; Armenian authorities must seize and detain Permyakov at Armenian Pretrial Detention Facility, as well they must guarantee that the case is further investigated by Armenian law enforcement bodies.

“We demand that the president of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan, President of National Assembly Galust Sahakyan, Chief of Police Vladimir Gasparyan immediately arrived in Gyumri, clarified the incertitudes and fulfilled the above-stated requirements. If provided, that they are incapable of doing that, then the government must resign immediately,”reported Zaruhi Postanjyan, an MP of National Assembly, member of “Heritage” party, who communicated the demands developed by the citizens of Gyumri to Epress.am, adding that in the event of unfulfillment of the demands the protest wave mounted in Gyumri can lead to unpredictable consequence.

Earlier today, the prosecutor general of Armenia Gevorg Kostanyan had promised to the protesters that he would personally try to ensure that Permyakov be tried in Armenia. Kostanyan had promised to appeal with the demand to the prosecutor general of Russia. Many protesters were disenchanted by the tardiness of the statement and a portion of the protesters decided to continue their protest near the Russian consulate.