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Police disperse protests against electricity price hike in Armenia

Photo: panorama. am

Today, on July 6, the Armenian Police and the employees of Sanitek Company removed the barricades of street litterbins and dispersed the protesters against the electricity price hikes from Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan.

The police repeatedly urged the protesters to lift the barricades and go home, but the protesters – there were less than 100 people there on that moment – refused to leave. Eventually, the Police dispersed the protesters without using force and detained several dozens of activists that showed resistance, VERELQ News and Analysis Center reports. After the avenue was reopened, Valery Osipyan, the deputy head of the police came out with a statement assuring journalists that all the detainees will be set free. “They will face no administrative proceedings and will be set free,” he said.

Earlier at 12:30pm Yerevan time today, the police made a statement saying that later in the day they will lift the barricades and resume the traffic on the Baghramyan Avenue.

At present, the police are patrolling Baghramyan Avenue. The traffic through the Avenue has resumed after two weeks of blockade by the protesters. 

As EADaily reported earlier, the Public Services Regulatory Committee of Armenia adopted a decision on June 17 to raise the electricity price by 6.93 drams starting from August 1 2015.  In particular, the new daytime electricity price for the population will increase to 48.78 drams (by 10 cents) per kWh, and the one for the night hours will rise to 38.78 drams (by 8 cents) per kWh. Earlier, the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) Company requested a rise of the electricity price by 17 drams, which sparked nation-wide protests in the country. The protests continued on the Baghramyan Avenue, where the presidential compound is located, for two weeks.

Earlier, at dawn of June 23, after repeated warnings, the police dispersed the protesters using water cannons.  Reportedly, the police detained and later set free 237 members of the “No To Plunder” movement protesting against the electricity price hike.

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