Police of Armenia: Nikol Pashinyan forcefully removed from the scene of gathering


Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian has walked out a meeting with protest leader Nikol Pashinian after accusing the opposition of "blackmail". Police detained several people. One stolen election upon the next, graft and corruption, scores of political prisoners, and now the attempt by Mr. Sargsyan and his party to perpetuate his rule through fraudulent constitutional changes have brought the Armenian public to an unprecedented tipping point.

Prosecutors said the opposition politician Nikol Pashinyan and two other lawmakers had committed "socially unsafe acts", Agence France-Presse reported, and the police said in a statement that the removal of the protesters had been "guided by law". "Good bye", said Sarkisian before walking out.

Earlier it was reported that in Yerevan the number of detained participants of the protests has risen to 123 people.

Former Armenian President and newly-appointed Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan attends the laying of the flowers at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2016 in Yerevan, Armenia.

The demonstrators are calling on people to join them.

Pashinyan said in response that, apparently, there is some misunderstanding, since they here is only to discuss the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan.

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After Sarkisian was first elected in 2008, 10 people died and hundreds were injured in post-election clashes between police and supporters of the defeated opposition candidate. The "velvet revolution" declared by us enjoys the support of 90% of the country's population.

Earlier in the day, Mr Sarkisian walked out of a televised meeting with Mr Pashinyan shortly after it began, denouncing the opposition's "blackmail".

The EU's External Action Service called on the authorities Sunday afternoon to release "all those who have been detained while exercising their fundamental right of assembly".

Before Sarkisian's departure, Pashinyan told him that he was no longer in charge of the country, and that power had shifted into the hands of the people, to which Sarkisian responded that someone who received "six or seven percent of the vote" could not talk about having power of the country.

His successor as president, Armen Sarkissian (no relation), took a more conciliatory tone, and went to Republic Square to meet with protesters including Pashinian on April 21, but failed to bridge the rift between the two sides.