Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

GUIDE on possible actions during restriction of rights and freedoms of foreign citizens residing in the Republic of Armenia

April 19, 2024

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If you are a foreign citizen, a stateless person or a refugee who permanently or temporarily resides in the Republic of Armenia, it is necessary to remember that the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as “the RA”) is a member state to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, thus the fundamental provisions of the Convention apply in Armenia. Therefore, in any case of restriction of rights or freedoms, by virtue of the guarantees in force in the Republic of Armenia,

 

1․ Representatives of a competent authority of any other state, even if they represent the state of your citizenship (e.g. Russian Federation, Republic of Belarus, etc.) do not have the right to come up to you, demand documents, information on your status in the Republic of Armenia or attempt to restrict your rights and freedoms in the RA.

 

 

 If the above-mentioned happens, you can take the following lawful activities:

  • Demand from the police officer and/or law enforcement officer to introduce themselves and show an ID or a document certifying their position.

  • Fix, take a photo of and collect information about the appearance of the officer who approached you, their data, position, status and other information.

  • Video record the whole process taking place and immediately post the recording on your social network pages or send/provide it to your relatives with the purpose of publishing it later.

  • Not to obey any demand or instruction/order issued by representatives of competent authorities of other states, even if they represent the state of your citizenship. Since, when in the Republic of Armenia, you are exclusively under the jurisdiction and protection of the RA; at the same time, only representatives of the RA competent bodies can have the authority to apply to you measures permitted by law.

  • In case of any harassment manifested against you by representatives of competent bodies of other states, immediately apply to the human rights organization Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor at the following hotline numbers

 

093-81-92-75

091-20-09-71  

094-04-22-68

 

  • Immediately apply to the RA competent bodies and/or nearest Police department.

  • Not to be afraid, give in to provocations and threats; if necessary, ask for help from those around you and remember that no foreign official, state body or citizen has the right or legal opportunity to take action against you in the RA territory.

 

2․ In case representatives of the RA competent authorities approach you, you have the right to

 

  • demand that a licensed translator be provided to you immediately;

  • demand that reasons why they stopped you and/or want to restrict your freedom (by apprehending, detaining, etc.) be presented to you by the licensed translator in a language you understand;

  • in case of detention, exercise the rights established for the accused by the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia;

  • in case of detention, immediately receive a complimentary written notification and clarification about your rights;

  • familiarize yourself with the documents or materials directly related to your rights and freedoms;

  • exercise your right to make a phone call and demand that the person of your choice be informed about your whereabouts and status;

  • choose to have a defense attorney or defend yourself, and have a defense attorney appointed at the expense of state budget in case of not having financial means to pay for the defense attorney’s service;

  • keep silent or give a testimony, including in the presence of the defense attorney;

  • see your defense attorney confidentially and without any limitations on the number of meetings.

 

At the same time, remember that the Republic of Armenia

 

  • is a member state to the European Convention unlike other states, for instance, the Russian Federation, internationally recognized as an aggressor.The Convention provisions are an integral part of the RA legal system. In addition, in the RA

 

-no law enforcement representative of a different state has the right to approach you or restrict your rights,

-and restrictions of human rights and freedoms by RA Police and/or other law enforcement representatives in the RA are permissible only in cases, manner and framework established by law.

 

 

* Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor hereby also states that all foreign citizens or stateless persons, who are currently in Armenia and face issues related to prosecution by the RA competent bodies or competent bodies of the state of their citizenship in the RA, can apply to the Organization to get free legal aid. The mentioned individuals can call HCAV lawyers at

  • 093-81-92-75
  • 091-20-09-71
  • 094-04-22-68
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