Armenian-Canadian actress and producer Arsinee Khanjian was among hundreds of people detained in Yerevan, Armenia, on Wednesday, July 27, near a police station that has been occupied by gunmen for 10 days.
The gunmen seized the police post in the Armenian capital on July 17, killing one officer, wounding several others and taking those remaining hostage to demand freedom for Jirayr Sefilyan, a jailed opposition figure. The hostages have been gradually released since then.
In a video posted online by Armenian news outlet CivilNet, Khanjian is heard talking to someone in English on her cellphone, while police officers surround her.
“They want to take me in with two people,” she says in the video. “They have been pushing me.”
The incident was filmed by what appeared to be news crews and bystanders, and Khanjian herself was recording the scene with her own camera.
“This is pathetic. The entire diaspora should stand on its feet and stop this ridiculous situation in our homeland,” she said in the video before she was led away by officers.
She also told the person on the phone that she was stopped by police “because I don’t have papers to be a journalist.”
Gunmen who took over the police station in the Yerevan also took an ambulance crew hostage on Wednesday, police said, but was released on Wednesday night.
Thousands gathered in Liberty Square on Wednesday night in a sign of solidarity with the armed group Sasna Dzrer and to show that they would not be intimidated by police who have tried to stem a rising tide of opposition to the current regime lead by President Serzh Sargsyan.
The demonstrators then marched to Khorenatsi Street and staged a sit-in.
Police calls for the crowd to disperse went unheeded. Demonstrators remained at the site until 2 a.m., promising to return in bigger numbers tonight.
aniarc.am, July 28, 2016
hetq.am (http://hetq.am/eng/news/69502/yerevan-july-27-thousands-march-towards-seized-police-building.html), July 28, 2016