May 13, 2024 - 12:21 AMT
151 detained as civil disobedience campaigns continue in Yerevan

The police have detained 151 Armenian citizens as people across Yerevan stage campaigns of civil disobedience across the Armenian capital to protest Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s surrender of territories to Azerbaijan and demand his resignation.

The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said on Monday, May 13 that all those people were detained for “failure to comply with the legal demands of government officials”.

Monday marks the fifth day of demonstrations announced by Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan and backed by virtually all Armenian opposition groups.

Citizens have been blocking streets in Yerevan, demanding Pashinyan’s resignation.

At a massive rally on May 10, Galstanyan reiterated those demands as he addressed the protesters in the city’s central Republic Square. He charged that Pashinyan lost legitimacy after deciding to hand over several disputed border areas to Azerbaijan. He pointed out that the premier had pledged not to make such concessions in the run-up to the last general elections held in 2021.

Accordingly, the cleric vowed to continue campaigning for Pashinyan’s removal from power. At the same time, he urged supporters to demonstrate “patience” and brace themselves for sustained street protests that could last longer than many of them expected.

“We will be moving forward step by step,” he said, RFE/RL’s Armenian service reports. “We won’t get tired.” Galstanyan scheduled the next Republic Square rally for Sunday. In the meantime, he said, he will meet with opposition leaders as well as retired diplomats and security officials supporting his movement to discuss “organizational issues.” Earlier on May 10, a smaller number of protesters led by Galstanyan marched to Armenia’s main state-run universities to again urge their students and faculties to boycott classes and join the protests.