Friday, 29 July 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Politics! Police open fire
Police opened fire at Pavlik Manukyan – Sasna Dzrer
July 27,2016 | Politics

Armenak Kyureghyan, the father of the Kyureghyan brothers who remain in the Armenian police patrol regiment headquarters they seized on July 17, has contacted the members of the Sasna Dzrer armed group. 

Talking to A1+, Armenak Kyureghyan said the police did not attack the police compound at bight. 

“Sasna Dzrer members reached an agreement with the law enforcement authorities to have over the wounded gunman. It was Pavlik Manukyan who went to meet law enforcement officers to surrender his wounded friends. But the police open fire and wounded him. Pavlik’s son, Aram, ran to help his father and was wounded likewise. The two other members of the Sasna Dzrer group, Gagik Yeghiazaryan and Aram Hakobyan, came with stretchers after their wounded friends, but they were arrested by the police,” Armenak Kyureghyan. 

He says the members of the armed group remain inside the police building ‘are in a fighting mood.’ 

Armenak Kyureghyan said he did not ask about the doctors who are reportedly held hostage by the Sasna Dzrer group. 

“I think the boys need medical aid, therefore the team is there. There is one person inside the building who has minor injuries,” he added.
Thousands Again Rally in Yerevan in Support of Erebuni 

Gunmen (Video) 

RFE/RL Report
More Yerevan Gunmen Caught By Police
July 27, 2016
Sisak Gabrielian
Narine Ghalechian

Armenian security forces captured early on Wednesday four more gunmen
who have been holed up in a police station in Yerevan for more than a

The spokesman for the Armenian police, Ashot Aharonian, said one of
the leaders of the gunmen, Pavel Manukian, and his son Aram were
wounded in a shootout with law-enforcement officers.

One of the officers was also wounded as a result, Aharonian wrote on
his Facebook page at around 2 a.m. local time. "All three men were
immediately taken to hospital," he said.

Aharonian added that two other members of the armed group affiliated
with a radical opposition movement, Founding Parliament, surrendered
to security forces deployed around the police station in Yerevan's
Erebuni district.

"At the moment the skirmish has stopped and negotiations are underway
on completing the surrender of the armed men," he said.

The armed group confirmed shortly afterwards that security forces
"kidnapped" its four members, including Manukian, in an overnight

Shortly before midnight, the police spokesman claimed that the gunmen
have opened "sporadic fire in various directions." It was not clear
whether the Armenian police or the National Security Service were
attempting to storm the sprawling compound.

Manukian and his wounded son underwent surgery at the Erebuni Medical
Center. The entrance to the hospital was guarded by masked policemen
armed with assault rifles.

Manukian's daughter Aspram was among several relatives of wounded
gunmen anxiously waiting outside the hospital in the early hours of
the morning. None of them was allowed into the building.

Hospital doctors told journalists that both Manukian and his son were
wounded in the legs and remained in a "serious but stable" condition
after being operated on.

Two other gunmen were also shot in the legs before surrendering to the
police early on Tuesday. The nature of the gunshot wounds suggested
that the law-enforcement authorities are keen to avoid killing any of
the armed oppositionists.

The armed group reportedly numbered around 30 when it stormed and
seized the police station on July 17.

About an hour after news of the security operation was announced, riot
police detained at least two dozen people who continued to demonstrate
in support of the gunmen on an Erebuni street section close to the
seized police station. The police gave no reasons for the detentions.

The street section has been the scene of daily protests staged by
Founding Parliament and its opposition allies for the past
week. Thousands of people rallied there on Tuesday evening.

The protest leaders urged the crowd to disperse shortly after
midnight. Only several dozen people remained there by 2 a.m.

Jailed Oppositionist Wants Talks With Armenian Government
July 26, 2016
Naira Bulghadarian
Karlen Aslanian

Zhirayr Sefilian, a jailed opposition leader, on Tuesday urged the
Armenian authorities to negotiate with him an end to their continuing
standoff with armed members of his Founding Parliament movement
occupying a police station in Yerevan.

Sefilian appealed to the authorities the day after his lawyer, Ara
Zakarian, said that he is ready to stop demanding President Serzh
Sarkisian's resignation "for the moment."

"We have a clear political program of peacefully resolving the
problem," Sefilian said in a statement sent to RFE/RL's Armenian's
service ( through Zakarian.

"It is evident that the delay in the launch of a negotiation process
is leading to an escalation of the situation, which could result in
more clashes, injuries and casualties," he warned.

Vitaly Balasanian, a Nagorno-Karabakh politician who has mediated
between the authorities and the Founding Parliament gunmen, said on
Sunday that Sarkisian is ready to meet Sefilian if the gunmen holed up
in the police station lay down their arms. Balasanian also claimed
that Sefilian no longer backs the gunmen's key demand: Sarkisian's

Zakarian, the lawyer, clarified on Monday that his client told
Balasanian in jail that "he is renouncing that demand for the moment
but not in general." "In a negotiation process the parties set
conditions with the aim of eventually making mutual concessions," he
told RFE/RL's Armenian service. "So Sefilian would set certain
conditions and if they were met he would drop that demand at that

Sefilian was arrested on June 20 for allegedly cobbling together an
armed group that planned to seize government buildings in Yerevan. The
Lebanese-born radical oppositionist denied the government allegations
as politically motivated.

The 30 or so gunmen affiliated with Founding Parliament demanded
Sefilian's release immediately after seizing the police station on
July 17. They also demanded that Sarkisian free other "political
prisoners" and step down.

Alek Yenigomshian, a senior Founding Parliament figure leading ongoing
demonstrations in support of the gunmen, said on Tuesday that Sefilian
wants to be allowed to meet the besieged "rebels" and then start talks
with President Sarkisian. The talks would focus on "serious reforms"
which Founding Parliament believes are badly needed in Armenia,
Yenigomshian told reporters.

The authorities negotiated with the gunmen through Balasanian until
they released their four remaining hostages, all of them police
officers, on Saturday. Armenia's police and National Security Service
(NSS) have since repeatedly urged the armed oppositionists to
surrender. The NSS on Tuesday declined to comment on the possibility
of renewed negotiations with them.

Addressing a fresh rally held by Founding Parliament later in the day,
Yenigomshian said that the opposition group and its allies are ready
to find unspecified "reasonable solutions" with the authorities. But
he at the same time reaffirmed support for the gunmen's demands.

"We must achieve the fulfillment of guys' demands," Yenigomshian told
thousands of people that again rallied on a street near the seized
police station in Yerevan's southern Erebuni district before marching
to the city center.

Earlier in the day, the police warned the organizers to stop staging
protests on the Erebuni street, saying that there is a "real danger"
of fresh violence there that could have "unpredictable consequences."
"Or else, the Armenian police would have no choice but to stop the
gathering in a manner defined by the law," read a police statement.

However, the police refrained from using force when the protest
leaders and their supporters defied the warning. The crowd visibly
grew bigger as it marched through the city center, voicing support for
the gunmen and chanting anti-government slogans.

Sefilian, 49, was arrested less than two weeks after announcing plans
to set up a new group that will seek to topple the government "with
the help of the people and the army." In particular, he condemned
Sarkisian's alleged plans to ensure Armenian territorial concessions
to Azerbaijan as part of a compromise settlement of the Karabakh
conflict favored by the United States, Russia and France.

In line with their hardline nationalist views, Sefilian and his
associates are strongly opposed to Armenian withdrawal from any of the
districts around Karabakh that have been controlled by the Karabakh
Armenians since the early 1990s.

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