Thousands of Armenians in capital Yerevan have been protesting against the recent increase in electricity prices for the last six days.
The protesters, mainly young people, are against the decision by the Public Services Supervisory Commission to raise the prices by around 16 percent from Aug. 1, upon a request from the country's Russian-owned electricity network.
The rallies, supported by the '#ElectricYerevan' hashtag in social media platforms, continued late Tuesday despite the detentions of several protesters by Armenian security forces after they used pressurized water to disperse the crowd. Officials have since announced their release.
The police prevented the advance of hundreds of protesters who were marching from Yerevan's Freedom Square towards Baghramyan Street, where the presidential palace is situated.
Several politicians and artists attended the protests, building a human barrier between police forces and the protesters.
In a statement, President Serzh Sargsyan said he was ready to meet the protesters and listen to their demands, but most of them rejected the proposal on the grounds that their 'demands [were] already apparent'.
Country's chief prosecutor issued a statement saying an investigation had launched into the prevention of journalistic activities during the protests in Baghramyan Street.
The U.S. embassy in Yerevan also released a written statement criticizing the use of excessive force by police following various reports of journalists and their equipment being targeted.
By Feyza Susal