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Several dozen protesters remain in Bagramian avenue in centre of Yerevan

June 29, 2015, 12:23 UTC+3 YEREVAN

The remaining demonstrators do not allow the barricades to be removed in defiance of persistent calls by the police

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© Karo Sahakyan/PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, June 29. /TASS/. No more than several dozen demonstrators protesting against electricity price hikes still remain in Bagramian avenue in the center of the Armenian capital. Police are keeping an eye on the situation on site.

Following last night’s protests by several thousand in front of the Writers’ House a handful of demonstrators remain in the area. They are discussing the events of the past few days, sweeping the street or just enjoying a very good morning. Some have brought chalk and are drawing sketches on the asphalt. But for the barricades built of garbage cans across the avenue the street might have long been opened to traffic, because the road is vacant.

The remaining demonstrators do not allow the barricades to be removed in defiance of persistent calls by the police. The law enforcers are telling the demonstrators they committed an offence by misusing the property of Yerevan’s garbage disposal company Sanitech. Early in the morning the deputy chief of Yerevan’s police Valery Osipian asked the demonstrators to refrain from intervening with investigation, warning that "consequences" might ensue.

On June 17, Armenia’s public services control commission looked into a request from the distribution company Electric Power Grids of Armenia to partially sustain it and make a decision to raise electricity prices by 16% as of August 1.

On the same day the center of Yerevan saw a protest action. The organizers argue that electricity price hikes will push up the prices of essentials and many other services. On June 19, similar demonstrations were held in other large Armenian cities. On June 23 the police used force against the rally in Yerevan. Eighteen people, including 11 police, were injured and 237 demonstrators were detained to be released soon.

A short while later the demonstrators gathered in Bagramian avenue in the area of the Writers’ House again for a peace protest action, which is continuing in Yerevan for a seventh day running. Last night was the most restless one over the past week.

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