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Raged Armenians march towards Russian base, skirmish reported

15 January 2015 16:13 (UTC+04:00)
Raged Armenians march towards Russian base, skirmish reported

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

Hundreds of Gyumri residents flocked near the 8th military base to demand the immediate handover of the killer of an Armenian family to Armenian law enforcement bodies.

They have decisively called on the Russian side to unconditionally hand over Valeriy Permyakov, a Russian soldier who is accused of the murder of six members of the Avetisyan family in Gyumri, to the Armenian law enforcement officials.

Permyakov was detained within 24 hours following his bloody murder by the Russian border guards while he was trying to cross the border with Turkey. He has not yet been handed over to the Armenian law enforcement authorities, as the Russian side believe that the case is within its jurisdiction.

The Armenian Prosecutor General’s Office issued a statement on January 13 to acknowledge the Russian jurisdiction over the suspect, which triggered a noisy outrage in Gyumri, while a crowd of people staged protests near the Russian Consulate Russian military base in Gyumri on January 14.

The protesters demanded for a meeting with Russian Consular General Yevgeny Konishev, but there was nobody inside the consulate's building, as it appeared that they were warned in advance to leave the site.

The raged protestors then ripped off the flag from the building of consulate and threw eggs at the building, while affixed a sign reading “Cat House in Armenia” to a nearby bulletin board.

The next stop of the angry crowd was the Shirak Provincial Authority where they were met by numerous policemen and other security personnel. They managed to meet with Shirak Provincial Governor Feliks Tsolakyan, but no dialog took place between the crowd and public official.

According to a report by Hetq.am, local media outlet, no anti-Russian slogans were heard during the entire march.

The protestors then changed their direction towards the 102nd Russian military base where Permyakov serves and is kept. They called the base's commandant in charge to appear in front of the crowd, while Shirak Police Chief Nadaryan tried to prevent them from entering the base. When his efforts have gone in vain, Nadaryan closed off the road leading to the base. Nonetheless, the marchers pushed through the police cordon by sheer numbers and arrived outside the base.

Raffi Aslanyan, Shirak Prosecutor General, has arrived the base to calm down the protesters and announce that the consultations will continue tomorrow.

The protestors warned the law enforcement body to carry out their demand and bring Permyakov to the Armenian law by 5pm on January 15. Otherwise, they pledged to keep going on their march outside the prosecutor’s office at the deadline hour.

Permyakov has reportedly murdered six members (five adults and one adolescent) of the Avetisyan family in Armenia’s second largest city Gyumri in January 12. He is accused of shooting all six to death and inflict knife injuries on a 6-month-old baby.

Russian conscript Permyakov may face twenty years of imprisonment or life sentence under the Armenian laws.

Meanwhile, Gevorg Kostanyan, Armenia’s Prosecutor General, promised to visit Gyumri on January 15 in an effort to speak the residents about the investigation into the murder of a six-member family, pledging to bring the killer to justice in Armenia.

The Armenian National Congress, opposition party, has released a statement on the Gyumri slaughter to blame the Armenian law-enforcement bodies for negligence.

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Follow Mushvig Mehdiyev on Twitter: @Mushviggo

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