ArmInfo. After the evening clashes that took place on July 17 in Ijevan, the police detained 19 people. The head of the Armenian police Valery Osipyan, who arrived in Ijevan to keep the situation under personal control, said this in an interview with journalists. To recall, the residents of Ijevan, engaged in illegal logging, blocked the road of interstate significance, demanding the removal of stationary posts that monitor cases of illegal logging. As a result, hundreds of cars were blocked.
At the attempt of the police to unblock the road, the protesters began throwing stones at the police. As a result, 12 policemen with various injuries were taken to hospital.
According to the police chief, a group of 500 to 600 people, unhappy with the location of these facilities at the sites, blocked the road the night before, refusing to comply with the lawful demands of the police.
"I decided to send additional forces to Ijevan and arrived there myself. I personally reported on the situation to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. I was met by about 30 people. During the talks with them, I explained that their actions were illegal, but they tried to speak with me in the language of blackmail, calling for me to give an order that would confirm their demands. But I said that not only would I not give such an order, but a criminal case would be initiated in connection with the incident and the perpetrators would be punished, " the head of the Armenian police said, explaining that the case was initiated on the facts of hooliganism and resistance to the authorities.
"At the moment, 19 persons have been detained," he added, assuring that work on finding other guilty persons and bringing them to justice would be consistent.
In connection with yesterday's incident, RA Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan reminded at today's government meeting that two weeks ago the RA National Assembly adopted amendments to the Criminal Code and to the Code of Administrative Offenses, according to which measures for illegal logging are toughened.
It is envisaged, in particular, to double the penalties in the first case of felling, and in case of repeating the offenses during the year to bring violators to criminal responsibility. Thus, as the minister noted, all those loopholes used by a certain category of citizens were excluded. Previously, they, for committing illegal logging, paid a light fine, and continued their activities. Now they may face criminal prosecution.