YEREVAN (A.W)— Protests took over the streets of Yerevan on March 16, after Artur Sargsyan—nicknamed “the bringer of bread”—died at the Armenia Medical Center. Deputy director of the medical center, Arsen Grigoryan, confirmed Sargsyan’s death earlier in the day.
Sargsyan was arrested in Aug. 2016 for taking food to members of Sasna Tsrer who had seized a Yerevan police station, but was released in December due to an illness. He was arrested again on Feb. 9 for not reporting to a case hearing after being summoned, and had been on a hunger strike in a prison hospital.
After a petition signed by several Members of Parliament, he was released from prison and immediately taken to a hospital. A few days ago, he left the hospital by his own decision.
Sargsyan was hospitalized again on the evening of March 15 and never regained consciousness after an emergency surgery.
A short rally was held in Yerevan’s central Liberty Square, which was then followed by a march. The activists marched to Mashtots Ave., where they blocked the street, Armenian News.am reported. The protests in Yerevan were organized by activist Shahen Harutyunyan and fellow activists and friends of Sargsyan’s.
According to several reports, some of the protesters sat on the ground and disturbed traffic. The march was initially to be held earlier with the participation of Sargsyan. The police forcefully removed the sitting protesters, who then marched to the Ministry of Justice building, according to some reports.
The Armenian Weekly will be following the story and will provide updates as they become available.