Security Message: Constitutional Referendum and Protests

On Sunday, December 6, 2015 Armenia will hold a Constitutional Referendum.  In the run up to this, we expect there will be a heavy police presence in public areas around Yerevan to include public transportation hubs, government buildings, and public gathering areas.  Streets may be closed with little or no warning and additional security measures may be put in place without notice.

On December 1st at 1500 there will be a concert at Freedom Square, adjacent to Opera House.  This concert is organized by Armenian organizations and will encourage attendees to participate in the subsequent demonstration.

On December 1st at 1800 there will be a demonstration at Freedom Square.  Demonstrators reportedly plan to stage a “sit in” at Freedom Square and are preparing to remain overnight. Should the demonstration grow large enough, a march on the Presidency or towards other government buildings is possible.  Nearby streets, including Mashtots Avenue, Sayat-Nova Avenue, Tumanyan Street and adjacent sections of Baghramyan Avenue, will likely be affected and congested and should be avoided.

Additional demonstrations, protests and marches may occur spontaneously over the course of the next week. All U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Armenia are reminded that even peaceful gatherings can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence without warning. It is recommended to stay current with media coverage of local events, be aware of your surroundings and exercise particular caution when near crowds. Avoid large gatherings and public demonstrations.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Armenia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Armenia. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan is located at 1 American Avenue, tel. 10-46-47-00 and fax 10-46-47-42. The Consular Section is open from 9:00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m., with time reserved for U. S. citizen services from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for official U.S. Embassy holidays.  For more information, see the Embassy’s website.  For after-hour U.S. citizen emergencies please call (374-10) 49-44-44.