By Rashid Shirinov
About 100 citizens, including 23 journalists were injured on the night of July 30 during the riots in the Sari Tagh district of Yerevan, the Special Investigation Service of Armenia announced on August 31.
Starting from July 17, the day when armed group Sasna Tsrer seized the building of a police station in Yerevan, and up to its liberation on July 31, people carried out their protest actions against authorities by gathering on Yerevan’s streets, especially on the street of Movses Khorenatsi. After another rally held on the night of July 30 Armenian police with extreme violence detained 165 people on Khorenatsi street and in the Sari Tagh district.
The results of the investigation and proceedings of the Special Investigation Service of Armenia on the facts of July 30 riots in Sari Tagh district showed that the riots affected, presumably, 99 citizens, including 23 journalists, RIA Novosti stated.
Following the riots, a criminal case was instituted on different articles of the Criminal code of Armenia, namely abuse of official powers, misuse of official powers with use of violence, weapons or special means, and hindrance to legal professional activities of journalists.
During the investigation into the case, 74 people were interviewed, 63 recognized injured, and 11 people were questioned as witnesses by August 31. Moreover, there were instructions given for finding another 25 citizens.
Armenian police also mistreated journalists who were doing their job in the places of protests. Thus, 21 of the 23 representatives of various media were interviewed and 19 of them were recognized as victims, two were interrogated as witnesses.
The data of the criminal case shows that 47 people got shrapnel injuries, 36 were subjected to physical violence, while five suffered burns.
However, it seems that Armenian authorities, as they like to do, conceal the real figures of the July riots' victims, which must be huge.
On July 17, a group of armed men entered the territory of the Armenian police patrol department in the Erebuni district of Yerevan and took several people hostage. The attackers demanded the release of Armenian opposition figure Jirair Sefilyan, who was arrested on charges of illegal possession of arms. They also demanded resignation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
Following the long-lasting talks, the armed group on July 23 released all of the hostages. Nevertheless, they refused to lay arms down and surrender to the authorities. On July 27, the group took new hostages. They were four ambulance doctors who arrived at the police station to assist the wounded in the shootout between the police and Sasna Tsrer members. By July 31, they were also released, and the armed group surrendered. The two-week seizure took lives of two Armenian police officers.
From the first day of the seizure, Armenian people started their protest actions against authorities by gathering on Yerevan’s streets. Following the rally in Sari Tagh district of Yerevan, the police brutally dispersed the protesters and arrested 165 people. As a result, 73 citizens addressed medical institutions with injuries of varying degrees of severity.