Thirteen Arrested In Armenia After Fights With Police Over Illegal Logging - Investigators

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Thirteen Arrested in Armenia After Fights With Police Over Illegal Logging - Investigators

Thirteen people have been detained in Armenia after fights broke out near the town of Ijevan between police and protesters, who were there to demand that they be allowed to chop wood in nearby forests, Naira Harutyunyan, the press secretary of the Armenian Investigative Committee, announced on Thursday

YEREVAN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th July, 2019) Thirteen people have been detained in Armenia after fights broke out near the town of Ijevan between police and protesters, who were there to demand that they be allowed to chop wood in nearby forests, Naira Harutyunyan, the press secretary of the Armenian Investigative Committee, announced on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the protesters blocked traffic near Ijevan in the Tavush province, demanding that the authorities allow them to chop wood in the nearby forests. As the police tried to restore normal traffic, the protesters began throwing rocks at them. Later, Tavush Governor Hayk Chobanyan reported that the road near Ijevan had been cleared.

"Thirteen men have been arrested under suspicion of hooliganism, committed by a group of people, using objects as weapons.

Six more people have been released on their own recognizance," Harutyunyan wrote on Facebook.

Since 2018, the Armenian authorities have been cracking down on people who cut trees without permission. In the Tavush province alone, approximately 13,000 trees were illegally cut in 2017. The problem has become so massive that scientists warn of a possible ecological crisis. The Armenian government has made the punishment for the illegal logging more severe, with some politicians even advocating prison sentences. However, parts of the Armenian population do not agree with these measures since people in rural areas see logging as the only way to feed their families.

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