During the dispersal of protests in Yerevan suffered 7 protesters and 11 police officers
During the violent dispersal of the rally in Yerevan arrested 237 people. Photo: REUTERS
The police dispersed the protest with water cannons.
Residents of Yerevan will gather in the capital of Armenia to protest due to the increase in electricity tariffs. Begun to six p.m. Yerevan time (five in Kyiv). In addition to communal problems people have a reason to discuss the actions of the police, who dispersed the demonstrators at dawn, using water cannons, and arrested 237 activists. During the clashes, according to press Secretary of the Armenian police, Ashot Aharonyan, injured seven protesters and eleven police officers. Three people from among the protesters was hospitalized.
Police used force after the demonstrators left the place of their deployment – Liberty Square and blocked traffic on the main street of Yerevan, Baghramyan Avenue. According to police, the demonstrators asked back to the Plaza to open road transport. The people refused and in turn went to the cannons. Dispersal held at dawn intentionally, because the majority of people went home.
The police action came as no surprise. If you block one of the main streets, the authorities react to your actions, – considers the political analyst Vigen Hakobyan.
Armenian experts are not inclined to dramatize the situation and think that the protest will end with a consensus between the authorities and protesters.
– The decision to raise electricity prices has led to a social protest by a small segment of society. There were two or three small meeting for 5 thousand people in the center of Yerevan. It is mainly young people, which thus demanded that President Serzh Sargsyan not to raise tariffs. Although incidentally, he has no such authority. However, the President through his envoys agreed to meet with representatives of protesters to discuss the situation. But they refused, and the action took an ultimatum. By Wednesday morning, when most protesters had dispersed, the remaining used water cannons and street released – told the “KP in Ukraine” from Yerevan, the political scientist Karen Bekaryan.
He drew attention that the event was purely social, without any political colour, character.
– The protest movement would not expand. Do not rule out that the protesters will go on dialogue with the authorities and will achieve the positive decision of a question, – said Karen Bekaryan.
In Armenia one kilowatt is 42 drama or almost 9 cents. On August 1, the electricity tariff for the population will increase to 49 drams, which is equal to 10 cents. Minimum salary in Armenia is about $ 105 and the average of $ 328.
For comparison, in Ukraine the cost of one kilowatt of energy for consumption less than 100 KWH is 36 cents, or just over 1.5 per cent, and more than 100 – 63 kopecks, or nearly two cents. The minimum wage in Ukraine is 1218 UAH or $ 54.