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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Armenia: Thousands of Armenians protests in Yerevan and nationwide against the government’s prices policies

Armenians protest in Yerevan
(Image: Yahoo News)
Massive anti-government protests are ongoing in the capital of Armenia, the city of Yerevan, for the second day. The protests started on Monday, 22 June, when nearly five thousand demonstrators have gathered in Yerevan’s central Freedom Square, protesting against the rising electricity prices imposed in the country. People refuse to pay according to the new prices and announced a strike that started on 19 June, after Armenian State Commission for regulating the services for citizens imposed new electricity tariff. People protest these prices and chant that they will not allow the government to steal from its own people. Similar protests took place in other cities of Armenia as well.

Though the demonstrators were dispersed by the Armenian police and security forces later on Monday, as nearly 200 demonstrators were reported to be arrested. The police used water cannons to disperse the crowds.

Despite the recent dispersal of the demonstration several thousand people rallied in Yerevan Freedom Square and in front of the Armenian governmental buildings again on Tuesday, 23 June. Protesters demand to release from custody all the demonstrators arrested on the previous day.

The column of hundreds of protesters moved in the direction of the Presidential Palace, which is guarded by the additional security forces and police troops, deployed to the neighborhood. The roads leading to the Presidential Palace are also blocked by the security forces.

Police has reportedly water cannons to disperse the crowds in case if the clashes will erupt. Though, the column of protesters has reportedly passed the police lines without any clashes.

The protests are ongoing for the second day in Yerevan and nationwide, as the situation remains tense. The numbers of protesters grew up to ten thousand, according to the reports. Protesters demand changing of the government's policies and protest against the corruption in the authorities and against Russian military presence in the country. Some demonstrators erected barricades on the square, though there were no clashes at the moment.