Araks Mamulyan

Haghartzin Residents Close Highway: Demand to be Allowed to Collect and Sell Wood from Forest

Demanding that the government allow them to collect and sell wood from the nearby forest, some 500 Haghartzin resident closed the Ijevan-Yerevan highway for two and a half hours today before dispersing.

Residents also demanded that the government decrease the state fee to sell wood.

They told reporters that even though the government had decreased the fee from 10,800 AMD to 5,400 two days ago, the decision hadn’t been implemented and that they have been banned from transferring wood from the forest.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and police who arrived on the scene led by Samvel Hovhannisyan, Armenia’s Deputy Chief of Police.

Hovhannisyan pleaded with protesters to leave on their own accord, noting that today was a religious holiday (Feast of the Holy Cross) and that tomorrow was a day when people visited the graves of their loved ones.

“People will be visiting gravesites. Let them pass. I promise that on Tuesday, you can meet with anyone you wish,” Hovhannisyan told the crowd.

After lengthy negotiations, the protesters dispersed.