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Armenian Police Raid Artsakh Office in Yerevan Following Pashinyan’s Warnings

Armenian Police Raid Artsakh Office in Yerevan Following Pashinyan’s Warnings

Armenian law enforcement raided the office of Nagorno-Karabakh's exiled President Samvel Shahramanyan in Yerevan on Friday. This action comes a week after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan threatened to crack down on Shahramanyan and other Artsakh leaders. 

Videos shared on social media showed masked police officers breaking into the Artsakh office and seizing a limousine used by Shahramanyan’s bodyguard. According to Shahramanyan’s lawyer, Roman Yeritsyan, the officers did not present a court warrant. Yeritsyan called the raid illegal and politically motivated.

The Armenian Investigative Committee denied these allegations, stating that the car was taken as part of an ongoing investigation into Ashot Danielyan, Shahramanyan’s bodyguard and driver. Danielyan was arrested in February on suspicion of drug trafficking but was released without charges after three days. At that time, his car was impounded, searched, and then returned.

On June 7, investigators attempted to seize the car again but were met with resistance from Shahramanyan's aides, who insisted on a court order. The raid occurred as Shahramanyan was scheduled to visit the Investigative Committee for questioning as a witness in the case.

Prime Minister Pashinyan has accused unnamed Artsakh leaders of encouraging Armenian refugees from Karabakh to join anti-government protests in Yerevan. He threatened serious consequences following Shahramanyan’s criticism of Pashinyan’s claim that Karabakh forces did not resist last September’s Azerbaijani offensive. Shahramanyan argued that the accusations were intended to discredit the leadership in Stepanakert and the Armenian opposition.

During the 24-hour Azerbaijani attack, at least 198 Armenian soldiers and 25 civilians from Artsakh were killed. Azerbaijan reported around 200 combat deaths among its military personnel. The hostilities ended after Shahramanyan's administration agreed to disband the Artsakh army, leading to the forced maxx exocus of the entire population to Armenia.

On June 13, Shahramanyan condemned the Armenian riot police for using excessive force against anti-government protesters led by Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan. He also declared that Artsakh refugees have a "legal and moral right" to participate in peaceful demonstrations as citizens of Armenia.

Last month, Armenian authorities indicted the exiled mayors of Stepanakert and two other Artsakh towns for supporting Galstanyan’s protest movement. One mayor is currently in jail, while the other two are under house arrest on charges of fraud and forgery, which they deny. 

Yeritsyan argued that these criminal cases are a form of government retribution against Artsakh Armenians for their involvement in protests demanding Pashinyan’s resignation. "They are trying to tell us to know our place," Yeritsyan stated.


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