Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   21 January

Heavy police presence in downtown Yerevan as rally blocks traffic in central streets

YEREVAN, APRIL 17, ARMENPRESS. Opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan and his followers have once again blocked several streets in downtown Yerevan Tuesday morning.

Koryun-Abovyan intersection, Abovyan-Isahakyan intersection, Baghramyan Avenue and the France Square remain closed in central Yerevan.

The Khanjyan – Tigran Mets intersection was also shut down and a brief brawl took place between a driver and protesters.

Protesters also blocked Sayat Nova-Abovyan intersection, but police officers opened the road and detained one protester in the process.

Pushkin Street and the section passing from Halabyan Street to Hrazdan Gorge are also shut down.

Police have also shut down a number of streets from the morning – namely Baghramyan Avenue , Demirchyan Street, a section of Proshyan Street – which house state buildings.

Yerevan Police Department (YPD) is entitled and authorized to disperse the rally using special measures in accordance to the law, police said in a new statement as protesters continue the illegal rallies in the city.

Earlier YPD released a statement saying it has ruled to cease the opposition rally under Article 33 of the Law on Freedom of Assembly.

“[Opposition MP] Nikol Pashinyan has been notified about the demand from the morning. The organizer of the rally [Pashinyan] ignored the requirements of the ruling, failed to implement his obligations as a rally organizer, and once again called for continuous rallies, and implementation of illegal actions which obstruct the rights and liberties of other citizens and violate public order.

Paragraph 3 of Article 33 of the Law on Freedom of Assembly authorizes police to disperse the rally with special measures in such cases.

The Police of Armenia is ready to carry out its duty, which can be implemented in any moment, thus we call on the protesters to refrain from illegal actions to avoid undesirable consequences.

Taking into account the consequences of such actions, reporters who are at the scene are urged to maintain reasonable distance from the rally”.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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