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Stepanakert Protests Continue; Artsakh Defense Ministry Calls for Restraint

Referring to recent protests in Stepanakert, the country’s capital, the Artsakh Ministry of Defense has published a statement calling on citizens to refrain from any actions that threaten the security of the people.

The protests began on June 1 after an incident in which members of the Artsakh National Security Service (NSS) assaulted two citizens in response to an earlier confrontation between an NSS officer and residents.

That night, in response, protesters blocked a main road in Stepanakert leading to the central bus station.

Scores of demonstrators gathered outside the Stepanakert central bus station the following day, calling for the resignation of the heads of all police and other enforcement units other than the army.

On June 3, a delegation from the protesters met with Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan.

People continued to demonstrate near the bus station, with many calling for Sahakyan’s resignation.

The protesters are demanding the release of all political prisoners in Armenia and calls for uniting Artsakh with the Republic of Armenia are increasing.

The ministry’s statement in part reads:

“Accepting the absolute supremacy of the constitutional rights of every citizen and regarding any manifestation of violence as unacceptable and condemnable, the Artsakh Ministry of Defense urges all to refrain from taking any dangerous steps that will further artificially aggravate the domestic state of affairs in our country that already faces external threats and to seek purley legal solutions.”

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