“Armed Attack in Yerevan: Developments and Consequences”
“It is unacceptable to solve internal issues armed with weapons. It was unexpected that they did such a thing.” This is the opinion of Avetik Ishkhanyan, President of Armenian Helsinki Committee, who participated in the discussion at Media Center.

Yesterday morning, members of "Sasna Tsrer"group armed entered the patrol regiment of Erebuni police district and continue to hold hostage the police servants demanding the release of Zhirayr Sefilyan who  was detained on charges of organization,  transportation and maintenance of arms and ammunition by a group of people about a month ago and the resignation of President Serzh Sargsyan.

During the attack police colonel Arthur Vanoyanwas killed, there are wounded people on both sides. Negotiations are conducted with the people who occupied SPS regiment.

“A few months ago when they started the initiative "Constituent Assembly" Varuzhan Avetisyan said that they would not enter into the forced field. It was quite unexpected that this tragedy took place and a police officer was killed,” Ishkhanyan said and expressed his condolences to the relatives of the colonel. 

According to him, it is now important not to allow new bloodshed.

"Patience is needed, I urge the government not to attack, not to go to extreme measures, to do everything to avoid bloodshed," Ishkhanyan said.  

Chairman of the Center for Rights and Freedom Vardan Harutyunyan said that the Armenian authorities have turned the political procedures into hostility and what happened yesterday and continues today is the expression of hostility.  

“Not finding alternative ways, they take such extreme steps. A politician should not apply to arms and bloodshed is especially reprehensible,” Harutyunyan said.

On the other side, he emphasized that the government’s policies made them take such steps and the authorities should take this into account.

Artak Zeynalyan, member of "Rule of Law" NGO says that the way the authorities are responding to that phenomenon has nothing to do with the constitutional order in Armenia.

“Arrests have been made. Hundreds of activists have been imprisoned, and the goal was simply to imprison. It was a veiled doubt, for example, transporting weapons, and Levon Barseghyan was arrested on that suspicion, he was kept him for 3 hours, the others were kept for 14 hours. It should be a part of the prosecution, it is impossible just to suspect anyone. This has nothing to do with the constitutional order and they must report to the people by what legal grounds they were imprisond,” Zeynalyan said.

Artur Sakunts, Head of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, expressed his condolences to the murdered colonel's family and said that the armed group members and the police representatives did not differentiate from one another.

"Both of them are victims of the situation, which the government formed as a result of its irresponsible policies. Unfortunately it led to this situation, but also unequivocally to use violence is condemned. We need to get out of the situation, the main lesson is that violence methods can not be the solution to come out of this situation. How much it is required they should make dialogues, negotiations and solve problems in that way to stay away from bloodshed, "Sakunts said.

Political analyst Aghasi Yenokyan expressed outrage that the demands of armed persons are not realistic.

"Sefilyan is released, Serzh Sargsyan resigns, what then? "Yenokyan said.

MP Tevan Poghosyan said that one should realize that legal state cannot be built by illegal methods.

"And everything related to this issue should return to the legal field. As a result of negotiations they should be disarmed, surrenderred peacefully and bear the punishment for their crimes, "said Poghosyan.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to [email protected].

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