Society 12:52 08/12/2021 Armenia

Families of missing, captured soldiers protest outside Armenian parliament

Families of missing and captured Armenian soldiers gathered outside the Armenian parliament building on Wednesday, voicing their anger over the comments of National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan about prisoners of war (POWs).

Simonyan came under fire after calling Armenian POWs held in Azerbaijan deserters. In a scandalous video recording which emerged online on Tuesday, he can be heard saying that many of them “laid down their arms, ran away and got lost”, ending up in captivity. “Those POWs don’t exist for me anymore,” he said.

His comments sparked protests in Yerevan on Tuesday evening. A group of relatives of captives and missing soldiers blocked traffic on the streets leading to the Republic Square, demanding that Simonyan be held accountable for his statements.

Speaking to reporters today, one of the protesters recalled Nikol Pashinyan’s statement that he was ready to exchange his son Ashot for all Armenian soldiers held captive by Azerbaijan.

“Let him be sent [to Baku] now. Let him bring back our captive sons, and send Ashot to undergoing suffering a little bit instead of them,” the protester said.

He also denounced the authorities for deploying large police forces outside the parliament building during the protest.

“Who are they protecting themselves against? Are those gathered here criminals? We simply voice our demands. We are told that our actions are inadequate. What else did you expect? Did you expect us to come here and welcome the budgetary debates?” the angry protester said, pointing to numerous issues related to Armenia’s borders.



Source Panorama.am
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