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​Armenian nightclub Poligraf reopens a week after “brutal” police raid

today02/05/2023 7

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A nightclub in Armenian capital Yerevan has reopened its doors just one week after a “brutal” police raid that saw attacks on its staff and clubgoers.

Poligraf, one of Armenia’s largest techno clubs, reopened on Saturday, April 29, with a “strict” entry policy that promised to protect guests and their “freedom of expression”.

The Yerevan club was raided by police in the early hours of Sunday, April 23. Police entered the venue at around 1:AM without legal grounds to enter, the club claimed.

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What ensued was a “brutal” attack of those inside the venue including strip searches, Poligraf said last week, which was likened to the attacks on Bassiani and Café Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2018.

A petition was launched shortly after the raid to reopen Poligraf in the face of police “silencing”, which has almost received its goal of 2,500 signatures.

Supporters took to the streets of the Armenian capital over the weekend to protest the police’s actions. Protests were livestreamed over the weekend showing people dancing outside with soundsystems rigged, and a DJ performing on the streets.

On Saturday, April 29, Poligraf announced that it would reopen with a strict door policy, encouraging clubbers to “take care of each other and maintain harmony”.

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The club’s frequent queer night Princess Diaries went ahead the next day, but without its usual addition of a drag performance. Arni Rock, Doubledav, sin, and more local artists were slated to play.

“Strict entrance check and selection will be implemented in order to ensure the rest of the guests and freedom of expression,” they explained. “This event is created for people of all gender identities and sexuality.”

“Take care of each other and maintain harmony with each other. Homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism and any other discrimination have no place in the club.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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