Demonstrations in Yerevan
Thousands of demonstrators gathered yesterday in Armenias capital Yerevan to protest against state regulators decision to raise electricity prices by 16 %. This morning the Armenian police forcefully dispersed the demonstrations, leaving 18 persons injured.
-We urge Armenian authorities to prevent unnecessary use of violence in connection with the demontrations, says Secretary General in the Norwegian Helsinki Committee Bjørn Engesland.
Armenian police told the news agency Interfax that 237 people were arrested during the clashes between police and protesters.
The clashes on Baghramyan Avenue followed three days of protests in a nearby square by activists from a pressure group called No To Plunder.
The protesters ended up sitting in the street in the center of the city after about 5,000 had staged a march toward the presidential palace but were stopped midway by a heavy police cordon. They eventually decided to proceed with their strike seated on the approaches to the thoroughfare.
The protesters insisted that their actions were peaceful and demanded that President Serzh Sarkisian revoke the decision made by state regulators to raise electricity prices by 16 percent beginning August 1.