Armenia Protests

by Nathan Hamm on 4/14/2004 · 6 comments

The chances of Armenia experiencing a “Rose Revolution” of its own are looking bad:

Police in Armenia used stun grenades and water cannon to disperse an opposition protest during the early hours of April 13 in Yerevan. In addition, authorities closed the offices of two leading opposition political parties involved in organizing the demonstration, which President Robert Kocharian said threatened the country’s “constitutional order.”

The assault began at about 2 am, with columns of police clad in riot gear moving against demonstrators from at least two directions, in what observers said was a maneuver designed to trap the protesters. Eyewitnesses reported that authorities indiscriminately beat protesters. Many journalists, in particular photographers and television camera operators, became embroiled in the melee. The Aykakan Zhamanak newspaper, for example, reported that two of its correspondents were “badly beaten.”

For much more insightful news and commentary, check out Blogrel, maintained by a “British guy involved in a project in Armenia”.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Mark April 14, 2004 at 6:02 pm

THe Armenian protests aren’t in our media out here (‘Big ol’ buck kilt near trailer park.’). You’d think after Georgian revolution it would be bigger news. Maybe its a right-wing conspiracy, no spontaneous democracies in the news. Or maybe ‘velvet’ and ‘rose’ type revolutions are passe.

Nathan April 14, 2004 at 8:24 pm

I certainly hope that your “right-wing conspiracy” thought is in jest, or something you’ve sucked down and spit back up from that liberal talk radio guy you listen to.

I would think that the administration would want it in the news considering that we gave *ahem* more Freedom Support Act funds to Armenia than to Georgia in FY2003.

I think this is more of a case of, “Where the hell is that?”

Mark April 15, 2004 at 12:22 am

Surely YOU were joshing about my jesting!

Mark April 15, 2004 at 12:22 am

As far as where is it, all readers of Dilbert know Armenia is the large country containing the region of Elbonia. OK no more jokes, I promise.

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