As protests continue, 47 arrested over police compound seizure

By Asbarez | Monday, 01 August 2016

A member of the

A member of the “Daredevils of Sasoun” is being escorted by police after the group surrendered Sunday

YEREVAN—Armenia’s National Security Service said on Monday that 47 people have been arrested in connection with the seizure of a police compound on July 17 by a group calling itself the “Daredevils of Sasoun,” which surrendered Sunday saying they did not want bloodshed in the country. Meanwhile, disgruntled citizens continued their protests demanding a “legitimate government” in Armenia.

The NSS said that among the 47 were the 20 “Daredevil” members who laid down their weapons and surrendered on Sunday, ending a standoff that gave way to massive protests calling for regime change in Armenia. The NSS said that 10 members of the group had been arrested earlier.

According to the NSS, some political figures who had been rounded up last week are among the 47 being held in connection with the police compound seizure. The agency did not provide names.

After announcing their surrender, Varujan Avetisyan, a leader of the “Daredevils of Sasoun” said that they would continue their struggle for radical reforms as “political prisoners.”

In announcing the group’s surrender, the NSS labeled the group “terrorists,” but in announcing the 47 arrests the agency did not cite the legal provisions in Armenia’s criminal code that deal with “terrotism.”

Armenia’s Health Ministry reported that there were 17 people still hospitalized as the result of clashes between police, demonstrators and journalists on Friday, among then three police officers and two journalists, who continue to receive medical treatment at area hospitals.