Beaten,Burnt and Betrayed: Armenians awaiting accountability for police violenceSeptember 26, 2017 Report
This report summarizes the findings of a monitoring mission to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, organized by International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR) within the framework of the Civic Solidarity Platform (CSP) on 28 July to 1 August 2016. The CSP monitors studied allegations of the use of disproportionate and excessive force in relation to predominantly peaceful demonstrations; arbitrary detentions; abusive treatment of demonstrators and journalists and other human rights violations in connection with demonstrations that took place in Yerevan from 17 July to 30 July 2016. The team of monitors recorded testimony from 42 victims and witnesses. IPHR and the CSP monitors take no position on the demands of the demonstrators or the means used by opposition groups to achieve their political aims. The sole purpose of this report is to analyze whether human rights violations took place in connection with the demonstrations, and the nature of any violations found to have been committed.
The protests in Yerevan spiked after a group of armed men belonging to the opposition group “Sasna Tsrer” (“Daredevils of Sassoon”) seized Police Patrol Service (PPS) station located in Erebuni, a southern Yerevan district on 17 July 2016, killing police Colonel Artur Vanoyan, wounding and taking hostage several other police officers.1 The group was demanding the release of their imprisoned leader of the Founding Parliament2 Jirair Sefilian, the resignation of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, and the so-called “restoration of the Republic”. In recent years members of the group “Sasna Tsrer” being also aligned with the political movement Pre-Parliament and partially comprised of veterans of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabagh, has repeatedly claimed that the elections in Armenia have been deeply flawed, thus questioning the legitimacy of those in power. It has also accused the political elite of being tainted by widespread corruption.
Shortly after of the gunmen seized Erebuni District Police Station demonstrators began gathering on Azatutyun Square in central Yerevan and near the occupied police station on Khorenatsi Street to show solidarity with the gunmen. They did not represent a unified movement, but were led by various civic groups such as the Heritage Party and the Founding Parliament movement as well as civic leaders who had become popular during the Electric Yerevan protests in 2015. Although the police did not disperse the gatherings, they detained dozens of protesters. Despite this, the number of demonstrators continued to grow over the days that followed.
On 20 July 2016 the Armenian Special Investigation Service opened an investigation into allegations of excessive use of force by police. At the time of writing, disciplinary sanctions have been taken in relation to the Head of Yerevan City police and two heads of district police departments. In light of the failure of the Armenian authorities to bring any suspects to justice following the excessive use of force by police at the Electric Yerevan protests in June 20153 , the CSP delegation is seriously concerned that those responsible for the use of excessive force in these recent demonstrations a year later may also escape justice. There were also grounds to conclude that police officers specifically targeted the main leaders of the predominantly peaceful July 2016 protests, detained and charged them with “organizing mass disorders”, in order to weaken and, ultimately, put an end to the protests.
See the full report here
Recently, HCA Vanadzor has been receiving alerts on the quality of food in penitentiary institutions from prisoners and convicts. Publications are regularly published by the mass media in connection with the food that does not meet the established standards.
Vanadzor PI prisoner E. Y., who is suffering from multiple health problems, is in a damp quarantine cell. As reported by him, the damp of the cell has a negative effect on his state of health, and his request to be transferred to the infirmary was rejected by Acting Head of the PI V. Yeghiazaryan.
The RA Criminal Code provision on civilian recruits abandoning the place of service arbitrarily changes; HCA Vanadzor has submitted proposals on thatFebruary 20, 2018
On February 13, 2018 Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office submitted proposals to the RA Ministry of Justice with regard to the RA Draft Law on Introducing an Amendment in Article 327.1 Part 1 of the RA Criminal Code (Civilian Recruits Abandoning the Place of Service Arbitrarily).
HCA Vanadzor submitted a petition on the Draft Laws on Making Amendments and Additions in the Laws on the Investigative Committee and the Special Investigation ServiceFebruary 20, 2018
On February 16, 2018 Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office submitted a petition, through which proposals were presented with regard to the RA Draft Law on Making Amendments and Additions in the RA Law on the Special Investigation Service. With the draft laws it is proposed to reserve the appointment of the chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the Investigation Committee … Continue reading
On the basis of the findings of the examination of M. H.’s state of health, the experts concluded that the conscript needed a deferment for the purpose of observation through further examinations at the CMC.
The Partnership for Open Society Initiative jointly with the OSF-Armenia Justice Group are pleased to invite you to participate in a public discussion titled “Separation of Powers and Ensuring Checks and Balances in a Parliamentary System of Governance.”
The document provided by the MoD representative does not include all the required information; HCA Vanadzor will persist in the claim submittedFebruary 15, 2018
However, they include the contents of new legislative acts, while HCA Vanadzor had requested the manual approved by the order issued by the RA Armed Forces Chief of the General Staff on January 15, 2014.
STATEMENT On the physical and psychological violence against Marina Khachatryan, the member of “Yerkir Tsirani” communityFebruary 14, 2018
The public display of the force one more time proves and highlights the propoganding and disseminating tendencies of the current impunity, as well as the culture of resovling the violation issues by the ruling party’s administration
HCA Vanadzor submitted proposals on the draft decisions of the RA Government establishing the procedures and conditions for granting a deferment of compulsory military serviceFebruary 9, 2018
On February 2, 2018 Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office submitted proposals to the RA Defense Ministry with regard to the draft decisions of the RA Government establishing the procedures and conditions for granting a deferment of compulsory military service to citizens having considerable achievements in the fields of science and education, culture and art as well as sport.
Today, on February 7, 2018, the RA Administrative Court of Appeal rejected the appeal lodged by protester Vardan Balyan and his representative T. Siradeghyan, lawyer at the representative office of HCA Vanadzor in Yerevan.
More than three months ago a criminal case was initiated and then terminated in connection with the threats addressed to Mher Arshakyan; however, HCA Vanadzor received the decision only after the second inquiryFebruary 7, 2018
On October 24, 2017 a criminal case was initiated on the basis of the crime report submitted by HCA Vanadzor in regard to the threats towards journalist and publicist Mher Arshakyan. Two months later the criminal case was terminated.
«Периодически поступающие угрозы в адрес коллектива медиаресурса являются следствием безнаказанности. Именно бездействие правоохранительных органов стали причиной этого. Такие угрозы, как взорвать, убить, очень серьезные, чтобы их оставлять без внимания. Это не что иное, как давление на свободу слова», – заявил корреспонденту «Кавказского узла» глава Ванадзорского офиса Хельсинкской гражданской ассамблеи, правозащитник Артур Сакунц.