The Mayor of Goris, Arush Arushanyan, who was arrested Monday after voicing his opposition to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and spearheading a citizens’ movement to block roads leading to Syunik, which forced the prime minister to cut short his trip to the province, was released on Tuesday.
Yerevan’s Court of Jurisdiction ruled that Arushanyan’s arrest was “unlawful,” according to his attorney Armen Melkonyan.
However, Armenia’s Special Investigative Service’s charged Arushuanyan with a slew of charges ranging from alleged abuse of power to deriving financial gains from mineral deposits in Goris. As expected the SIS requested Arushanyan’s pre-trial remand.
“The General Department of Major Crimes of Armenia has investigated a number of cases related to Goris Mayor Arush Arushanyan that have been merged into one case. Arushanyan is accused of abuse of official powers, organizing illegal business, violating the rules of subsoil protection and use, intentionally causing moderate damage to health, organizing a rally in violation of the law,” SIS press office said on Tuesday.
Upon leaving custody Arushanyan was asked whether his efforts to prevent Pashinyan from visiting Goris were successful, to which he responded that the measure was “the will of the residents of Syunik Province.”
“Nikol Pashinyan doesn’t have the right to enter Syunik Province because he gave up the land protected by the residents to the enemy,” Arushanyan added.
Touching upon the protests of the citizens of Goris demanding his release, the mayor said he has never doubted the honor and dignity of the residents of Syunik Province, reported News.am.
Arushanyan was arrested by the local Goris police early Monday morning after he posted http://asbarez.com/199334/protests-force-pashinyan-to-cancel-visit-to-goris-kapan-and-meghri-in-syunik/ pictures of Azerbaijani soldier flying their country’s flag in the vicinity of the city and criticizing Pashinyan for signing the November 9 agreement, which ended the Karabakh war, but forced Armenia and Artsakh to surrender territories to Azerbaijan.