By Artak Khulian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenian police arrested more than 400 people on Tuesday, May 17, as opposition supporters again blocked roads across Yerevan in continuing protests aimed at forcing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign.
Groups of protesters began the blockages at 8 am local time in an attempt to disrupt traffic and step up pressure on Pashinyan’s government. Opposition leaders claimed to have blocked more than 50 streets in various parts of the capital.
Riot police stepped in to unblock the streets, clashing with protesters and detaining many of them. The police reported a total of 414 arrests in the afternoon, a daily record high since the start of the Armenian opposition’s “civil disobedience” campaign on May 1.
The protesters included members of the Armenian parliament affiliated with its two opposition groups leading the campaign. Security forces tried to detain one of them, Tadevos Avetisyan, but let him go after finding out that he is a parliament deputy.
“This is not policing. This is hooliganism,” charged Lilit Galstyan, another opposition lawmaker taking part in the protests.