FAMILY MEMBER OF MARCH 1 VICTIM REFUSED TO BE ESCORTED TO YEREVAN IN POLICE VEHICLE
Ahead of today’s Armenian National Congress rally, pulled out
of commission were public transportation vehicles operating from
the Kotayk marz (province) towns of Garni, Hrazdan, Charentsavan,
Abovyan, Nor Hachn, and Yeghvard. An Epress.am correspondent spoke
with waiting passengers at the Abovyan bus station, who said that
they have been waiting for a while, but they found out that public
transportation vehicles are not operating the routes to Yerevan as
there’s a rally today.
Epress.am attempted to get in contact with the dispatchers; however,
the correspondent was unsuccessful as all the doors were closed.
Passengers waiting in Yeghvard likewise cited the rally as the reason
transportation wasn’t operating since this problem only arises during
days when there’s an opposition rally in the capital.
“This transport that they remove ahead of every [opposition] rally –
this is the image of our leadership,” said one Yeghvard resident.
A passenger wanting to travel from Garni to Yerevan informed Epress.am
that road police stopped two minibuses and prohibited the drivers
from driving to Yerevan.
One of the passengers in the minibus was the aunt of Armen Farmanyan,
one of the victims of mass unrest in Yerevan on Mar. 1, 2008, who
was trying to visit her nephew’s cemetery in the capital today. When
police found out who she was and why she was going to Yerevan, they
offered to take her in their car; however, she refused and asked
they allow her to continue her route by public transport. Thus,
police allowed this particular minibus to continue.
However, the driver of the other minibus that was taking passengers to
Yerevan, according to eye-witness accounts, was beaten by officers,
while passengers tried to intervene. According to one witness,
police officers shouted at the driver, “Don’t you know that you’re
not supposed to go into town? We warned your village leader.”