By Akbar Mammadov
The Armenian police have detained 154 people during the protest against the abolition of the immunity of MP Gagik Tsarukyan, the leader of the opposition party-Prosperous Armenia Party, the Armenian local media reported on June 16.
Thus, earlier, today's morning Armenian police detained 103 people who were holding the protest outside of the Armenian parliament.
The parlimaent is currently debating on Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan’s petitions to strip parliamentary opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) leader, MP, and business tycoon Gagik Tsarukyan of his parliamentary immunity, launch criminal proceedings against him and take Tsarukyan into custody.
Furthermore, on June 16, the Armenian government launched a criminal case against another MP of the opposition party Naira Zohrabyan.
In his speech in the parliament on June 16, Tsarukyan blamed the Armenian authorities, recalling that the promises were made two years ago and people were listening to what they needed to hear.
Earlier, on June 15, 252 people, who protested in support of their party leader, were also detained by the Armenian police. Hence, a total of 355 people were apprehended by the police in Armenia.
"What happened is really very ugly, which, in short, is called the invention of criminal cases by political order. Why are the halls of power taking such a step? The answer is very simple. An extremely dire situation has been created in Armenia due to the [COVID-19] pandemic", Tsarukyan said.
According to the report, the opposition party lawmakers said that this step taken against the opposition leader is political persecution associated with Tsarukyan's harsh statements against the Armenian leadership. They also noted that these criminal proceedings are political pressure made by Armenian authorities against Tsarukyan.
Moreover, a member of another opposition VETO movement Ani Hovhannisyan told local media that they called on the EU countries respond to these processes in Armenia.
It should be noted that supporters of the Armenian opposition party (Prosperous Armenian Party), as well as ordinary citizens, protest against the criminal proceedings launched against their leader for three days.
The protests have started in front of the building of Armenian National Security Service after the search conducted by the National Security Service in the party leader Gagik Tsarukyan's mansion and party offices on June 14.
Thus, protests were held in different places in Armenia: in front of National Security Service, National Assembly, US embassy, the office of the EU delegation, and in a central park.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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