Sun 15 November 2020:
Armenian National Security Service detained its former head, the leader of the Rodina party, Artur Vanetsyan on the suspicion of usurping power and preparing the assassination of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Vanetsyan’s lawyer Lusine Sahakyan wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday.
Vanetsyan’s lawyers described the arrest as a “shameful persecution of opponents.”
Anger has been mounting over Pashinyan’s decision to cede swathes of territory as part of cease-fire deal with Azerbaijan. Thousands of people converged on the streets of the capital Yerevan in demonstrations this week, while protesters stormed and ransacked government buildings, demanding Pashinyan’s resignation.
On November 12, the Special Investigation Service of Armenia decided to put ten opposition politicians under preliminary arrest, including Vanetsyan, the leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Gagik Tsarukyan and the representative of the Dashnaktsutyun party Ishkhan Saghatelyan on charges of organizing an illegal meeting. On November 13 they were all released from custody. Protests demanding Pashinyan’s resignation have been held in Armenia since November 10.
On Saturday, crowds gathered on Yerevan’s Liberty Square, where they lit candles in memory of soldiers killed in the fighting.
They then marched silently through the streets toward the Matenadaran museum of ancient manuscripts where priests held a requiem service.
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