YEREVAN, April 20. /TASS/. As many as 233 opposition activists have been detained in the Armenian capital city of Yerevan in Friday’s street protests.
Despite the drizzling rain, groups of young people have been moving about the city since morning, blocking traffic now and then. The city is full of noise, with never-stopping beeping of cars of both protesters and those who cannot get out of the traffic jams.
Thus, a group of young people blocked traffic just before Defense Minister Vigen Sarkisian’s car. One of the protesters crawled under the minister’s car and policemen had to haul him out.
"It is a network struggle tactic that is called to disperse and tire out the police," the leader of Armenia's Civil Contract opposition party, MP Nikol Pashinyan, said.
The police have been hauling off protesters throughout the day. "As of 18:00 local time (17:00 Moscow time), a total of 233 protesters were taken to police stations," police spokesman Ashot Agaronyan told TASS.
In the evening, about 100 opposition activists blocked a highway leading to Yerevan’s international airport Zvartnots.
Mass rallies began in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia on Monday protesting against the nomination of former president Serzh Sargsyan’s candidacy for prime minister. On Tuesday, Sargsyan was elected prime minister. Nikol Pashinyan declared a ‘velvet revolution’ and urged his supporters to peaceful civil disobedience actions.
On Thursday, opposition activists tried to break down a meeting of the new cabinet having clocked approaches to government buildings. Apart from that, they organized a 3,000-strong protest rally. Police detained 123 activists throughout the day.