Armenia bars entry of diaspora leader over an ‘attack’ on PM

29 July 2022
Mourad Papazian. Image via the Public Radio of Armenia.

Armenian diaspora leader Mourad Papazian has been denied entry to Armenia for reportedly attacking Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s motorcade in Paris in June 2021.

Papazian, who is a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), has denied the accusations and claimed that he was neither present at the 2021 protest nor did he help its organisers.

On Thursday, he announced that he was going to ‘restore’ his ‘right to return Armenia’ because the country ‘is not the private property of Nikol Pashinyan or his administration’. 

Prominent Armenian lawyer Siranush Sahakyan and Artsvik Minasyan, a member of the ARF and Former Minister of Agriculture, will represent Papazian during his appeal.

Papazian said that they are now waiting for a response from the National Security  Service about their request to revise the ban.

Papazian is a well-known diaspora figure from France. He is the Chair of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organisations in France, as well as an ARF member.

Papazian learned about the ban in mid-July upon landing at Yerevan’s Zvartnost airport — his fifth visit since June 2021. 


Papazian said that Armenia was now the third country he was banned from entering, alongside Turkey and Azerbaijan.

A week after Papazian was denied entry into the country, a representative from the Prime Minister’s office told Armenpress that ‘various objects and items’ were thrown at the PM’s motorcade in Paris, and that the situation was only resolved after the French police intervened.

‘Information showing what happened has been published by many media outlets, and the footage is available online’, they said. ‘The other active participants of the attack were also denied entry to Armenia’.