Woman detained after Pashinyan’s son reports kidnapping attempt

By Mark Dovich

Armenian law enforcement has detained one woman and launched a criminal investigation after Ashot Pashinyan, the son of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, reported Wednesday that a group of people tried to kidnap him in Yerevan.

In a statement, the Investigative Committee confirmed that one unnamed woman had been detained in connection with the alleged kidnapping attempt and said the authorities were “taking urgent actions” to clarify what happened.

The younger Pashinyan said in a police report that the incident began when a group of parents of soldiers who were killed in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war approached him on the street. A woman from the group then allegedly introduced herself to him and asked him to join her in her car, parked nearby, for a conversation.

After getting in the car, Ashot Pashinyan claimed the woman suddenly drove off and told him that “she had nothing to lose, she could kill him, so she would take him to Yerablur (Armenia’s main military cemetery – ed.) without his permission, where she would decide whether to set him free or not.”

The younger Pashinyan said he was able to get out of the car after it slowed down near an intersection, but seconds later was struck by a second car, allegedly driven by other members of the group that had initially approached him. The woman and other members of the group then fled the scene, according to the police report.

The Armenian Times, a newspaper run by Anna Hakobyan, Nikol Pashinyan’s wife, reported Wednesday that Ashot Pashinyan sustained leg injuries in the incident, but did not specify their severity.

The Investigative Committee said doctors planned to conduct a “forensic medical examination” of the younger Pashinyan’s injuries, but also did not provide any additional information on his condition.

Under Armenian law, kidnapping a public figure or the close relative of a public figure carries a 4-8 year prison term.

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