Armenian policemen break up rally, arrest opposition activists

Armenian policemen break up rally, arrest opposition activists

Mediamax news agency
13 Apr 04


The Armenian police broke up an opposition rally on Bagramyan Avenue
outside the buildings of the National Assembly and the US embassy in
the centre of Yerevan.

The police started a special operation to force the protesters out of
the avenue at about 0200 2100 gmt . The law-enforcement agencies
resorted to force immediately after the protesters refused to abandon
the road voluntarily. Water cannons and charges were used in
dispersing the rally. The operation to disperse the protesters took
about 10 to 15 minutes. The press service of the police has not yet
issued any reports on the dispersal of the rally.

According to the opposition newspaper Aykakan Zhamanak Armenian Times
, many protesters received bodily injures in clashes with the
police. The paper reported that after the dispersal of the rally, the
law-enforcement agencies carried out arrests at the headquarters of
the opposition Anrapetutyun Republic Party, the National Unity Party
and the People’s Party of Armenia.

Aykakan Zhamanak also reported that two of the paper’s correspondents
Ayk Gevorkyan and Avetis Babadzhyan, who were covering the night
events on Bagramyan Avenue, were badly beaten up by the police.

Passage omitted: reported details of the rally