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​Armenian club Poligraf to be shuttered following “legal battles” with local authorities

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Armenian nightclub Poligraf is due to be shuttered following a year-long “legal battle” with local authorities in Yerevan, the club has announced.

It comes after the cancellation of all events at the club in January due to “unforeseen circumstances”, announced earlier this month via Instagram.

“We regret to announce that Poligraf is permanently closing,” Poligraf told followers yesterday (January 22). “After cancelling the project in January, we had time to assess the ecosystem of the sector and realised that it no longer met our beliefs.”

The club cited “long-standing legal battles” with local authorities and “internal corruption”, following a “brutal” raid of the club by Yerevan police in April 2023.

Read this next: Petition launched to reopen Armenia nightclub Poligraf following “brutal” police raid

The club claimed that local police forced their way into the venue without legal grounds to enter, said to have been an attack on the civil rights of those inside – staff and punters included – and was likened by the club to the attacks on Bassiani and Café Gallery in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 2018.

According to Poligraf, staff and attendees were both physically attacked by police and later strip-searched when held in custody, sparking protests across the city. A petition was also launched following the raid.

Poligraf is one of Armenia’s largest techno institutions, running since 2019 in central Yerevan, Armenia’s capital. The club thanked its community for the outpouring of love and support it has received over the past year.

“For years Poligraf has been a symbol of unity, self-expression and diversity in the difficult socio-political conditions of post-Soviet and post-war Armenia,” the club announced yesterday alongside the news of its closure.

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“The community’s efforts to have a Free Armenia have been our driving force,” they added. “We’re grateful for the memories we’ve created together. Looking back at the moments we’ve shared with each other, we can confidently say that we’ve spent inside the walls of Poligraf every night and every connection made will remain in our hearts forever.”

Despite its permanent closure, Poligraf will reopen for one final weekend this coming Friday and Saturday (January 27 – 28), with a line-up including èki B2B kazmir00 B2B st. nuriar, HOV, Lychee, Mixtinct, and more.

“Poligraf will close its doors, but the spirit that symbolised this space will live on in our memories,” the club said. “Saying goodbye to Poligraf, we look forward to spending one last weekend together.”

In September, Poligraf launched fundraising events in support of the families displaced following the war in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. A portion of the proceeds from selected September events went to support those affected by the Azerbaijani military.

Find out more about the final weekend at Poligraf here.

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

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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