One person has been arrested over an alleged attempt to abduct Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s 23-year-old son, Ashot Pashinyan.
According to Armenia’s Investigative Committee, Ashot Pashinyan reported that the incident took place around 1:00 PM on Wednesday near the Yerevan Court of Appeal, where the parents of soldiers killed during the 2020 war were protesting.
The Investigative Committee statement reports that the Prime Minister’s son was approached by some of the protesters, one of whom introduced herself as the mother of a killed soldier, and suggested that they sit in her car to talk quietly.
The woman reportedly started talking about the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, while driving over the speed limit and violating traffic rules, prompting the Prime Minister’s son to demand that the car be stopped and he be let out.
‘The mentioned woman said that her son was taken and killed without asking her, she has nothing to lose, she can kill him, so she [will take] him to Yerablur [Military Cemetery] without asking, where she will decide whether to let him out free or not, based on her emotions’, the Investigative Committee statement based on Ashot Pashinyan’s report recounted.
Pashinyan reportedly jumped out of the car as its speed decreased at an intersection, and was hit by another car, which was driven by other parents who had been protesting near the Court of Appeal.
Gayane Hakobyan, the woman accused of attempting to abduct Pashinyan, was arrested on Wednesday and a criminal case launched against her. On Thursday, Hakobyan announced that she was beginning a hunger strike, and would keep it for as long as she was held in the detention centre.
The news was first published by the Armenian Times newspaper, which is owned by the Pashinyan family.
The newspaper reported that members of Call of the Sons, an anti-government organisation founded by parents of soldiers killed in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War, attempted to kidnap Ashot Pashinyan in front of his house on Wednesday afternoon.
Garik Galeyan, a member of the group, rejected accusations that Pashinyan was abducted, saying that members of the group ‘approached politely’, and promised that ‘nobody will do anything to you’.
Call of the Sons issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that Pashinyan had agreed to sit in the car and go to Yerablur Military Cemetery, and jumped out of the car ‘for unknown reasons’, denying any allegations of abduction.