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June 23, 2015

#ElectricYerevan march sparks violent crackdown in Armenia

More than 200 people arrested as thousands of Armenians protest hike in power price.

Armenian police forces use water cannons against protesting against plans of the government to raise electricity prices for up to 40 per cent, in Yerevan, Armenia, late 22 June 2015 evening. ( EPA/VAKHRAM BAGHDASARYAN/PHOTOLURE)

At least 240 people were reportedly arrested in Yerevan, Armenia's capital city, following clashes between thousands marching against rising electricity prices and riot police. The march began on Monday but went into the early hours of Tuesday after demonstrators staged an overnight sit-in, blocking traffic. 

Those detained by authorities on Tuesday morning may be charged for "hooliganism and disturbing public order". Police also reportedly destroyed or confiscated equipment from journalists who were covering the rally. According to the health ministry, at least 25 people were injured including 11 police officers. 

Protesters demand the Armenian government reverse the decision to increase electricity prices by up to 22 per cent in August. Armenia is suffering due to Russia's economic crisis, and the country's electricity company is controlled by a Russian firm. The company blamed the hike on the fall of Armenia's currency.

Many shared images of the clashes using #ElectricYerevan and #ElectricArmenia