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Supporters of hostage takers in Yerevan hold protest action

About 200 people have gathered at the Freedom Square in Yerevan to support an armed group that has been keeping hostages at a police station in Yerevan claiming to release radical opposition leader Jirair Sefilyan.

The participants of the action decided to march to Erebuni community where the seized police station is. However, police officers have cordoned off the square. There were several scuffles with the protesters, several people were brought to police stations.

The activists insist their action is of peaceful nature, and the actions taken by police are illegitimate. They insist they are speaking for a peaceful solution of the conflict situation, for release of political prisoners. The protesters claim that those who seized the police station should not be considered terrorists, as they allegedly wanted to save the country.

Deputy Head of the Armenian Police Hunan Poghosyan is trying to persuade the protesters to refrain from marching to the seized police station. He promised that all activists detained during the skirmishes will be freed. He said the talks are being held and the attackers keep four people as their hostages. He said there are no plans to raid the police station.

As EADaily reported earlier, the attack at the police station in Erebuni was carried out by members of the non-system opposition organization called Founding Parliament. Spokesman for the organization Varuzhan Avetisyan said it was a military coup. He announced they were urging change of power in Armenia and release of their leader Jirair Sefilyan who was detained under suspicion of arms trafficking.

Valery Osipyan, Deputy Head of Yerevan City Police, and Deputy Head of Armenian Police Vardan Yeghiazaryan are still hostages. Colonel Artur Vanoyan was killed during a police operation to free the hostages.

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