Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Yerevan Crisis in Pictures

Police have blocked roads and detained residents gathering in the city centre.
By IWPR
  • People came to a demonstration down Mashtots Avenue in Yerevan on July 18 protesting against the illegal detention of dozens of activists by the police. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    People came to a demonstration down Mashtots Avenue in Yerevan on July 18 protesting against the illegal detention of dozens of activists by the police. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • The protesters demanded that the law enforcement agencies respect human rights.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    The protesters demanded that the law enforcement agencies respect human rights. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Sit-in protest in the centre of Yerevan for the right to peaceful rallies.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Sit-in protest in the centre of Yerevan for the right to peaceful rallies. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Activists tried to negotiate with Yerevan´s Police Chief Ashot Karapetyan.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Activists tried to negotiate with Yerevan´s Police Chief Ashot Karapetyan. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  •  On the  territory of the blocked streets, police are building up their presence.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    On the territory of the blocked streets, police are building up their presence. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • For several days, police cordons have been on duty around the clock. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    For several days, police cordons have been on duty around the clock. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • For several days, police cordons have been on duty around the clock. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    For several days, police cordons have been on duty around the clock. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Sometimes there are clashes between the police and the people who have gathered, July 19, 2016.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Sometimes there are clashes between the police and the people who have gathered, July 19, 2016. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • The situation is tense around the blocked streets because of a lack of information.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    The situation is tense around the blocked streets because of a lack of information. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Sometimes there are clashes between the police and the people who have gathered.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Sometimes there are clashes between the police and the people who have gathered. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • A woman wants to convince the police not to use force against civilians.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    A woman wants to convince the police not to use force against civilians. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Activists set up barricades against the police.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Activists set up barricades against the police. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  •  Police at the site.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Police at the site. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  •  A young woman in front of a police cordon.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    A young woman in front of a police cordon. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Activists use rubbish containers as obstacles against the police.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Activists use rubbish containers as obstacles against the police. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • For the third day, special police forces are on duty in Khorenatsi Street, which leads to the captured police station.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    For the third day, special police forces are on duty in Khorenatsi Street, which leads to the captured police station. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • The opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, who has become an unofficial mediator between the rebels and the police, tells people about the latest news and developments.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    The opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan, who has become an unofficial mediator between the rebels and the police, tells people about the latest news and developments. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
  • Residents who live near the blocked streets are watching the situation.  (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)
    Residents who live near the blocked streets are watching the situation. (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)

More than a dozen gunmen stormed a police station in the Armenian capital Yerevan on July 17 and took several hostages, among them Armenia´s deputy chief of police.  Although a few hostages have since been released, a tense standoff has continued for the past five days.

The armed men are affiliated with the marginal opposition movement Founding Parliament.  They have called for the release of their jailed leader, Zhirayr Sefilian, who was arrested last month, and the resignation of Armenia's president Serzh Sargsyan.

The police have blocked the roads leading to the police station and detained residents gathering in the city centre.

In the evening of July 20, police clashed with a crowd of several hundred demonstrators showing support for the gunmen.  The following morning, the health ministry said 51 people have been hospitalized, including 29 policemen. 

The violence began after the police refused to allow food brought by the demonstrators to be passed to the hostage-takers.