April 22, 2018 - 16:41 AMT
Nikol Pashinyan and other Armenian opposition MPs arrested

Within the criminal case investigated by the Special Investigative Service of Armenia, members of parliament Nikol Pashinyan, Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasoun Mikaelyan were arrested. The official announcement was made by the press service of General Prosecutor's Office.

According to the announcement, the MPs were arrested with the immediate suspicion of organizing and holding deliberate demonstrations in violation of the procedure prescribed by law.

The announcement also stated that during the demonstrations being held since April 13, Pashinyan, Mirzoyan and Mikaelyan “periodically urged the participants of the protests and other people to block the streets in the city and entrances of government buildings, intrude the mentioned buildings including areas subject to special security, disturb their operation which was implemented by the participants.”

According to Armenian legislation, criminal prosecution can be instigated towards a MP only with agreement of parliament. Without this agreement, a MP cannot be arrested unless he was captured in the place of a crime or immediately after the crime. In this case the arrest cannot take longer than 72 hours. The president of the parliament is immediately informed about the arrest of a MP.

According to the announcement, the participants of the demonstrations also “used violence against police and other people causing limitation of the rights and freedom of others.” According to the procedure described in the legislation, the president of the parliament was immediately informed about the arrest of the MPs.

On April 22, a short meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and Nikol Pashinyan took place. During the meeting Pashinyan stated that only the question of Sargsyan’s resignation can be discussed. Sargsyan answered that Pashinyan does not realize the amount of responsibility and had not learnt lessons from the events of March 1. As an answer to that Pashinyan stated that the situation in the country is not as it was 15 days ago and announced that people has the power now. “A party which received 7-8% votes from the people has no right to talk. If you don’t want to follow the legal requirement of the government then goodbye”, answered Sargsyan and left.