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Police Disperse Protesters in Armenia's Capital, Begin Detentions

Sputnik News

12:15 06.07.2015(updated 13:35 06.07.2015)

Armenian police have begun dispersing protesters against the hike in electricity tariffs in the country's capital of Yerevan, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene Monday.

The Armenian police shut down the rally and began to detain those who were resisting.

Armenian police have arrested up to 50 protesters in Yerevan, one of the rally's organizers said Monday.

'We are verifying the exact number of those detained and where they were taken. We will decide upon further action afterwards,' Maxim Sargsyan told RIA Novosti.

A police spokesperson told the news agency's reporter that all those detained would be released within the next three hours.

Armenian police are preparing to restore traffic on the avenue.

Earlier today, the police began removing the barricades and dumpsters on Prospekt Bagramyana in the center of Yerevan set up by protesters.

However, the protesters have formed a human chain across the avenue and blocked the traffic from reopening after police had completed dismantling barricades. No physical altercations between the two groups have been observed.

On June 17, Armenian authorities announced a 16.7-percent increase in household electricity tariffs in the country, which would come into force on August 1.

Two days later, mass protests against the rate hike began in Yerevan, with activists blocking the Baghramyan Avenue and later attempting to march to the presidential residence, a move that was blocked by law enforcement.

The protesters demand that Armenian authorities put on hold the decision on raising the household electricity tariffs, start talks on the lowering of the tariffs with activists and hold accountable the police officers who used force against activists and journalists during the demonstrations in Yerevan.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said over the weekend that he was ready to meet with a group of protesters to discuss a possible resolution of the conflict, adding that the government could partially cover expenses linked to the tariff increase for a limited time period.


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