Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 September

Police justify appropriate use of force during anti-Amulsar demonstration

YEREVAN, AUGUST 20, ARMENPRESS. A day after the demonstrations against the Amulsar gold mine project when a few protesters were briefly detained, Armenian police released a statement justifying the use of force by officers.

In a statement released on August 20, police admitted that the demonstration was indeed peaceful and that “police were maintaining public order and the safety of the participants of the gathering”.

“Then, however, citizens blocked the Baghramyan Avenue. For several times police announced that these actions aren’t lawful and gave sufficient time to open the avenue. However they failed to obey police orders and police were forced to intervene. The citizens who had blocked the street were removed from the avenue to the sidewalk for several times, but they again returned and blocked the street,” police said in the statement, adding that they were forced to use force, “not violent force, but appropriate physical force for opening the avenue”.

Police said they had to intervene because the traffic was obstructed and the rights of other citizens were violated. The police said they carry out studies and if needed internal investigations after each such case.

As for the hospitalized protester, police reiterated that they themselves called the ambulance to the police station after the demonstrator said he was feeling unwell. Doctors said he was experiencing a neurotic reaction, which is not related to the use of force.

“After all, the goal of all of us is the same – the rule of law. We are all on the same side”.

Police also called on citizens to adhere to the laws and obey police orders and not make provocative actions.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan


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