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Citizens Threatened Ahead of Rally Against Mayor in Armenian Etzhmiadzin

Residents of Armenia’s town of Etchmiadzin plan to rally at the town’s central square on Thursday evening to demand Republican Mayor Karen Grigoryan’s resignation. The protesters, who’ve been spreading news of their upcoming rally for over a week and urging all Etchmiadzin resident to come and fight for Grigoryan’s resignation, say they want to “get rid of the son of former army general Manvel Grigoryan – a man who used the war to gain power and accumulate his enormous wealth and has been terrorizing the region for years.”

The rally will start with a 5pm march from the Saint Hripsime Church, which will then move to the Central Square, one of the organizers, member of the Free Citizen Open Institute human rights organization Artak Sergoyan, said in a phone conversation with Epress.am.

“One of the most urgent issues is the Mayor’s resignation. In addition, this a a struggle against the terror, harassment, plunder and corruption that’s been occupying the town for over ten years. It’s become a one clan, one family town. What does it even mean – ‘the general has to live on a quiet street’? It’s absurd. There’s no such thing in any normal country that a general has to live away from noise. There are a lot of quiet places in the woods. And there are a lot of woods in Armenia,” Sergoyan said.

According to various media reports, Karen Grigoryan phoned all kindergartens and libraries in the town on Wednesday and threatened the staffs not to take part in the rally. Otherwise, he allegedly said, they would lose their jobs. Grigoryan has also told municipality employees to take videos and photos of the upcoming rally with their phones.

“People, parents come up to me on the street that teachers and nannies have been threatened. I raised this issue yesterday. There are people who’ll come to our office to file a complaint, which we will then redirect to the police,” Artak Sergoyan told us.