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Armenian police detain protesters blocking Yerevan’s streets

Anti-government rallies have been raging throughout Armenia since May 1

YEREVAN, May 17. /TASS/. Armenian police Tuesday morning took dozens of protesters into custody who were blocking streets in the capital, Yerevan, demanding that the prime minister step down.

These protests have been streamed online by local news portals.

Several streets in central Yerevan have been blocked, and police are continuing arrests. Heavy traffic jams are reported along nearby routes.

Among those arrested were ex-President Robert Kocharyan’s son, ex-Education and Science Minister, and Deputy Chairman of the Republican Party Armen Ashotyan, and other political and public figures.

Anti-government rallies have been raging throughout Armenia since May 1. Opposition political parties claim Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan plans to sign a peace agreement with Baku and recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan.

Pashinyan inked a trilateral agreement with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in November 2020, ending hostilities in the disputed region. The PM’s opponents blasted the deal as capitulation by Armenia, and demonstrations engulfed the country.

Consequently, Pashinyan resigned, but his party received an absolute majority in last summer’s early parliamentary elections, so Pashinyan regained his post as premier.