Police release footage showing violent protesters attacking on-duty cops
YEREVAN, APRIL 17, ARMENPRESS. Yerevan police released a footage showing opposition protesters attacking police officers in Baghramyan Avenue.
The Police HQ of Armenia announced that the footage clearly showed how protesters ignore lawful demands of the police and begin using violence against officers by throwing stones, barricades and other items at on-duty cops, causing injuries.
An investigation is underway to identify the attackers, police spokesman Ashot Aharonyan said.
Earlier on Monday, 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.
English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan