Garni Resident Threatened Yet Again for Opposing Azat River Government Project
On May 15 at 3 p.m., three men entered the Garni village drugstore of Arousyak Ayvazyan and proceeded to verbally assault her.
Mrs. Ayvazyan told this reporter that the three men entered the store and said they wanted to purchase some medicine. They then started to talk to her in a menacing tone and said they would be sending investigators to see her.
The men said that her son hadn’t done his military service and that they would send him to the frontline.
Mrs. Ayvazyan told the men that they were mistaken and that her son has finished his military service some time ago. One of the men started to talk to the shop owner in a vulgar manner, to which Mrs. Ayvazyan replied that she would call the police. The men quickly left.
Mrs. Ayvazyan followed them out and spotted them getting into a Mercedes Benz car with a 01TP001 license plate.
Mrs. Ayvazyan says she recognized the three men. Two of them had arrived in Garni three days before with a number of government officials (State Water Resources Committee President Aram Haroutyunyan, Kotayk Governor Karapet Gouloyan, etc.), for a public meeting on a controversial irrigation project that plans to divert water from the local Azat River and pipe it to communities in Ararat.
On that day, Garni residents boycotted the meeting and gathered outside the village cultural center. The officials pushed their way through the crowd and entered the center. They then called on residents to follow them inside. The officials wanted reporters to take pictures as if a public hearing had indeed taken place.
When residents refused, the hapless officials sought the assistance of the above three men and others in their employ who had made the trip, to salvage the situation.
These lackeys tried to coerce residents into the cultural center by using verbal insults. Their ploy failed.
Here’s a video showing how they tried to intimidate Garni residents.
It would appear that not being able to swallow their defeat, these ruffians have returned to Garni and are trying to silence Arousyak Ayvazyan and other local community members who are actively opposing the government-backed irrigation project.
This is the second time that Mrs. Ayvazyan has been threatened in the past month. The first time, she was threatened over the phone. She went to the police, providing the number of the phone used, but so far law enforcement has taken no action.