More Than 300 Arrested in Armenian Opposition Protests

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Police arrested more than 300 people in opposition protests in the Armenian capital Yerevan. Such demonstrations against Prime Minister Nikol Pasjinjan have occurred more frequently since mid-April.

 

The opposition accuses him of wanting to leave the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh to neighbouring Azerbaijan.

On Tuesday morning, the demonstrators tried to block major traffic routes in the Armenian capital. According to the French news agency AFP, 286 people were “briefly” detained.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave within Azerbaijan, predominantly populated by Armenians. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the area split from Azerbaijan. That led to the first war in the 1990s, in which 30,000 people died, and hundreds of thousands fled.

In the fall of 2020, the two countries again fought for control of the enclave for six weeks. More than 6,500 people were killed. The opposition sees this military defeat as a form of national humiliation and is therefore demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Pashinjan.

In addition, lately, there have been increasing signs that the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities are open to formal peace negotiations. Still, the Armenian opposition says that this would only make Pasjinjan yield to the demands of their neighbouring country.

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