Vladimir Putin is met by protests in Armenia

Following Armenia’s decision to join a customs union with the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin is visiting the country on Monday 2 December. The protests in favour of rapprochement with the European Union spread from Maidan in Kiev to Yerevan.

A group of activists decided to make hang large posters in different visible places in Yerevan, announcing their protest against the customs union with the Russian Federation and against “Putinism” in Armenia. There were different messages on banners, from “No to customs union colonization” to “Sovereign Armenia”

Some groups managed to put their banner safely and leave the place, whilst some others were caught by police and taken to police facilities for violation of the use of public space (sanction under article 172 of the Administrative Code of the Republic of Armenia).

“Today, hundreds of people marched in the central streets of Yerevan. Law enforcement authorities raided apartments of youth activists having announced a demonstration on Monday 2 December in the streets of Yerevan. Some of them were arrested preventively”, indicates Mamikon Hovsepyan, Director of the NGO Public Information and Need of Knowledge, a member of the emerging Human Rights House Yerevan.

In preparation of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Armenia, authorities have not only raided and arrested people, they also warned them from trying to protest. Even outside of Yerevan, people were not to go out or watch the passing of the convoy of Vladimir Putin. The same message was delivered to those living on Mashtots street in Yerevan.

Authorities seem to particularly worry the development of large squall demonstrations as in Kiev, under the “Euromaidan” acronym.

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