Three Yerevan police officers hospitalized – one in serious condition
YEREVAN, APRIL 16, ARMENPRESS. Three police officers have been injured in the brief clash with opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan’s crowd in Baghramyan Avenue, Yerevan. The officers have been hospitalized in the Nairi Medical Center.
“We can’t assess the condition of one officer right now because he is currently in the operating room. His condition is worse than the other two. He had fragmentation wounds,” Nairi Medical Center executive Anatoly Gnuni told reporters.
Gnuni said opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan suffered injuries only to his wrists. Gnuni also added that Pashinyan doesn’t require a hospital stay and he can leave whenever he wants because he has been treated.
Earlier, opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan and his crowd of supporters escalated the situation in Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan.
Pashinyan led his followers from France Square to the beginning of the Baghramyan Avenue, mentioning he “wants to go the parliament, his working place”.
Along with other opposition MPs from the Yelk faction, Pashinyan intended to breach the police line. Deputy chief of the Yerevan Police Department Valery Osipyan negotiated with the MPs and agreed to allow the opposition lawmakers to head to the parliament.
However, Pashinyan began shouting that he will not go alone and that his supporters must also go through the lines.
Despite numerous calls from the police to maintain order, Pashinyan climbed onto the steel barricade, which led to a chaotic situation.
The crowd began lifting the barricades and using them against officers.
A brawl began between protesters and police officers. At one point the MP and his supporters even climbed on a vehicle. The situation drastically escalated.
Police forces installed a barbed wire across the street and smoke was briefly seen on the scene.
Yerevan police issued a statement demanding opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan to cease the rally in the city. In case of failure to comply within a reasonable period of time, police said they will disperse the rally with special measures and force.
“Public order has been grossly violated as a result of the violent actions of protesters of the rally led by you in Baghramyan Avenue.
All warnings, demands and other restrictive actions of the police are no longer effective, thus, under Article 33 of the law on assembly, police are demanding from you to cease the rally.
In case of your absence from the location of the rally or failure to comply with the demand within a reasonable period of time, police will disperse the rally using force and special measures,” the police said in a statement addressed to opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan.
English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan