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Protesters Demand Release of Yerevan Men Arrested After Clashes with Police

Several dozen residents of Yerevan's Sari Tagh neighbourhood, mainly women, gathered today outside the National Assembly building to demand that their husbands and sons, who were arrested after the July clashes with police, be released under an amnesty. 

Nine Sari Tagh men are facing charges for allegedly committing violence against law enforcement officers during the clashes that occurred in the neighbourhood on July 19, the second day of the stand-off in the nearby police headquarters in Yerevan's Erebuni district; if convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison. 

Speaking to an Epress.am reporter, demonstrator Narine Ghazaryan said that her husband, Hrach Boyajyan, was arrested on September 1. The couple, according to the woman, had been only married ten days when the clashes occurred.

“So, you could face 5-10 years in jail for self defense; they should have instead let the police shoot and kill them. There was a power outage, there was no water [in the neighbourhood]; they had gone out to see if they could somehow fix the problem. It was just a misunderstanding. A murderer can walk freely in the streets, but men who came out to defend their families have to spend 10 years behind bars. We demand that our guys be pardoned!” Ghazaryan stated.

The demonstrators waited in vain for lawmakers to come out and hear their demands, but they were approached only by police officers who suggested that the Sari Tagh residents go to the parliament reception office and leave their demands there.


Nazeli Torosyan, whose son Harutyun was also arrested on suspicion of hitting a police officer, told Epress.am that before coming to the National Assembly building, the protesters had actually submitted an appeal to the office of the president and received a reply that the office did not have authority over the issue and that it was being dealt with by law enforcement authorities.