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Armenian taxi company raided after anti-government post

17 June 2024
Investigative committee confiscating the computers of GG company. Photo: news.am

Armenia’s Investigative Committee on Saturday searched the head office of a major Armenian taxi company, days after its founder called on people to join anti-government protests in Yerevan. 

Searches were reportedly also conducted of the houses of the company’s founders and senior leadership. 

Lawyers who attended the search of the company’s headquarters stated that all 26 computers of the head office were confiscated. They added that they considered the criminal proceedings to be political persecution, with lawyer Arsen Babayan claiming that they were ‘aimed at the bankruptcy of a large company’.

Lawyer Sergey Harutyunyan added that he was told by an organisation representative it would paralyse the work of the company.

On Sunday, the company stated that the criminal proceedings were ‘obviously groundless and illegal’, with the only motive being ‘the active civic position and public activities’ of the company’s founder, Khachatur Grigoryan. 

The Investigative Committee dismissed the accusations, adding that criminal legal proceedings had begun in May 2023. 

‘The preliminary investigation in the proceedings continued until now. As part of this, yesterday, searches were carried out, which is a standard operating procedure’, reads the statement.


‘Your place is at the protest!’

On Wednesday, company founder Khachatur Grigoryan urged people to join an anti-government protest led by the Tavush for the Motherland movement near the Armenian parliament. 

‘If you ARE ARMENIAN, if you want me to respect you when greeting me, your place is on BAGHRAMIAN [avenue, where the Parliament is located]!!!’ reads Grigoryan’s post.

On the same day, supporters of the movement attempted to storm the parliament while heated debates took place in parliament.  

Protesters outside parliament tried to tear through police barricades, with footage showing protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police stationed around the building. Police used stun grenades to disperse the crowds.

[Read more: Over 100 injured after police deploy stun grenades against Yerevan protesters]

Harutyunyan deemed the criminal case ‘revenge’ for publicly supporting the movement, and a ‘warning message’ to other business owners to withhold their support from the movement. 

The lawyers noted that criticism of the company by both government-affiliated media and government representatives began before the raid, in the days following Grigoryan’s post. 

PM Pashinyan’s chief of staff, Arayik Harutyunyan called the GG founder’s statement ‘offensive’ and ‘unacceptable’. 

GG was founded in 2014, and operates in Armenia, Georgia, and Russia.

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