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Armenian police threaten opponents of transport fare increase

24 July 2013 09:46 (UTC+04:00)
Armenian police threaten opponents of transport fare increase

By Sabina Idayatova

About 200 young activists continue to protest with the motto "I will not pay 150 drams" against transport fare increase in Armenia, armenianreport.com said on July 23.

Recall that, since July 20 Yerevan residents pay 150 drams in fare on buses and microbuses instead of previous 100 drams according to Mayor Office decision. (1 USD= 411 drams)

The fare on trolley was 100 drams instead 50 drams. Fares on the subway remained unchanged - 100 drams.

In response, taxi drivers refused to continue their route demanding payment of full cost ticket otherwise warning to cancel route. According to some local information, the drivers of some public transport lines, resorted to protest did not come to work.

Yerevan Police are threatening protesting activists who demand from government to reverse the decision of 50 percent increase in public transport and warn them taking appropriate measures in case of continuation of "disturbance of public order."

However, Police's appeal have not had effect, and the activists decided to continue the action. According to the protestors, the police use force and beat the most active people anyway.

Meanwhile, one of the protesters noticed Armenian PM Tigran Sargsyan watching the ongoing rally from government building, Armenia Today reported.

In response to this, protesters stopped and expressed their dissatisfaction with the government's policy chanting "Tigran, go away!" and continued their way to the police station where the detained four activists this morning.

Nevertherless, despite the fact of price hike in public trasportation, most of the minibuses are dirty with warned seats and gas cylinders mounted under the passenger seat. Futhermore, service also has not changed - bus "retards" at least at each corner, as a result of which time is spent on the road.

Meanwhile, journalists while covering action against price hike of transport were also threatened, 1in.am website quoted as Epress.am as saying.

Some men of 30-50 years who did not introduced themselves, watched and tried to hinder the work of journalists and activists at the crossroad of Mashtots and Bagramyan Avenues.

Besides, some unknown people periodically monitor the actions of journalists and media representatives calling them to "be more attentive." The cameras are taken away from the correspondents.

Zhoghovurd newspaper citing some local sources writes that the mayors of many cities are in search of funds to mitigate the increase in tariffs for transport
these days in Armenia.

The newspaper says that Gumru`s mayor for example, ordered to come up with something not to limit the increase of price hike more than 110-130 drams.

Herewith, transport is intended to be used as advertising medium, at least in this way to find the funds to address the issue of increasing fares in public transport.

Tomorrow at 11 a.m. a protest action will be held in front of the Yerevan Mayor in which striking taxi drivers will be attended. A large group of journalists, demanding resignation of the head of Mayor Office's Transport Department will join to the action which scheduled to be continued until 20.00.

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