Deputy speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly Alen Simonyan

YEREVAN ( Deputy speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly Alen Simonyan from Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step bloc said in a Facebook post today that he and another deputy speaker Lena Nazaryan (also from My Step) have drafted a bill that calls for payment of indemnities to all those citizens who had been injured in March 1-2 events in Yerevan back in 2008.

He said they were drafting also a similar bill that calls for payment of indemnities to citizens who were injured during the seizure of a police station in Yerevan by Sasna Tsrer armed group  in July 2016.

The Armenian opposition, led by the first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who ran for the 2008 presidential elections, held rallies in the center of Yerevan for several days, expressing dissatisfaction with the results of the vote that gave the victory to then prime minister Serzh Sargsyan. On March 1-2 the protests translated into riots and clashes between protesters and law enforcement forces. Ten people were killed and more than 200 injured.

Armenia’s new government, brought to power by the velvet revolution in 2018 May, revived the investigation into the March 1-2 case. As a result, ex-president Robert Kocharyan, accused of overthrowing the constitutional order, has been arrested pending trial.

Former presidents Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Serzh Sargsyan were summoned for interrogation.
The same charge is brought against Yuri Khachaturov, who had been the chief of the Yerevan garrison at the time of the bloody events. Khachaturov was detained, but then released on a 5 million dram bail.

Also former defense ministers Mikael Harutyunyan is wanted by the law-enforcement authorities as a defendant in the case.  He is accused of illegally using the Armenian armed forces against opposition supporters who demonstrated in Yerevan in the wake of the disputed presidential election held in February 2008. The other defendant is another ex-defense minister Seyran Ohanyan.

On 17 July 2016, a group of armed men called Sasna Tsrer, stormed a police station in Yerevan and took nine hostages. They demanded the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian, and the resignation of then president Serzh Sargsyan. Three policemen were killed in the attack and another 46 injured, including 26 police officers. Many members of the armed group were amnestied by the new government late last year.

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