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Dozens Injured as Violence Erupts in Yerevan, Riot Police Use Stun Grenades on Protesters Demanding Pashinyan’s Resignation

Dozens Injured as Violence Erupts in Yerevan, Riot Police Use Stun Grenades on Protesters Demanding Pashinyan’s Resignation
Photo Credit: 301.am

On Wednesday, riot police used stun grenades outside the Armenian parliament in Yerevan as they clashed with protesters demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The protests were led by Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, who rallied thousands of supporters near the parliament building. Inside, PM Pashinyan and his government were answering questions from lawmakers under tight security.

Before the session, Galstanyan addressed the crowd, calling for Pashinyan to meet him and discuss the terms of his "peaceful departure." Galstanyan accused Pashinyan of misrule and surrendering Armenian territory to Azerbaijan. He urged the protesters to prevent Pashinyan from leaving the parliament building, saying, "The man who failed the state must not be able to freely go to work, cynically ignore the pain caused to our people because of him." Galstanyan encouraged more people to join the protests.

Pashinyan rejected the calls for his resignation and criticized the opposition groups supporting the protests, which were sparked by his territorial concessions to Azerbaijan. Despite their efforts, the protesters were unable to surround the heavily guarded parliament building. Security forces from across Armenia, including armed officers from the National Security Service, were present.

Tensions escalated in the evening as police tried to push protesters back from a street leading to the parliament. The situation quickly turned violent, with protesters and police scuffling and throwing bottles at each other. In response, police fired over a dozen stun grenades, injuring dozens of protesters and at least two journalists. Ambulances arrived to provide medical aid.

Armenian police chief Aram Hovannisyan defended the use of stun grenades, stating that "the situation was out of control." He mentioned that some policemen were also injured but did not provide specific numbers. Prime Minister Pashinyan also defended the police actions.

The Armenian Ministry of Health reported that at least 30 people were treated for injuries, mostly "light and medium-gravity injuries," sustained during the clash. The ministry did not specify how many of the injured were protesters.

Archbishop Galstanyan blamed the violence on "police provocations" and urged the crowd to continue the protest. Inside the parliament, chaos erupted as deputies from the ruling Civil Contract party attempted to physically confront opposition members who were furious at Pashinyan. The prime minister had insulted former military leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh, calling them "coward deserters" who should be imprisoned. Amid the chaos, Pashinyan hastily left the parliament floor.

The situation in Armenia remains tense, with protesters continuing to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Pashinyan and calling for changes in the government. 

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