Dozens detained as antigovernment protest continue in Armenia

At least 63 people demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation were detained on Tuesday, May 14 as they again blocked streets in Yerevan, heeding appeals from Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of ongoing antigovernment protests in the Armenian capital.

Galstanyan urged supporters to “paralyze” the Armenian capital and other parts of the country during another massive rally held in the city’s central Republic Square on May 12. Hundreds of them briefly disrupted traffic in the center of Yerevan the following morning.

On Monday too riot police forcibly unblocked the streets, making the arrests in the process. They were accused of using excessive forces and even detaining protesters who did not close any roads.

“We were just walking on the sidewalk and they took away all of our boys, using brute force,” one young woman told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

There were also reports of similar protests on major highways outside Yerevan. In some of those cars, motorcades of opposition supporters drove very slowly in order to interfere with traffic.

Meanwhile, Galstanyan spent the the last couple of days visiting universities and unions and meeting with students and scholars.

The meetings and the road closures were aimed at stepping up the pressure on Armenian lawmakers. Galstanyan wants them to oust Pashinyan through a vote of no confidence.

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