Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

HCAV condemns yet another action of the Police committed with violent force

February 17, 2023

Current Announcements

On February 16, more than a hundred policemen broke into the former building of the Ministry of Defense located on Ashtarak highway, where socially disadvantaged families had settled. The police broke apartment doors, took the residents out of the building, and arrested 22 of the men under the charge of "not complying with the legal request of the Police". 


The policemen did not allow the residents to enter the building to take their belongings or the journalists to enter the buildings to cover what was going inside, reasoning that “life-threatening activities were going on inside”. According to the residents, 150-200 families resided there, most of which were socially disadvantaged, and among the residents, there were war participants, contract servicemen, and a few families from Artsakh. Artsakh residents relocated here in September 2022.  


HCA Vanadzor condemns the Government’s decision to evict residents from the building.


Before the forced evacuation, the Government had to first take steps to resolve the issue of housing for the people under its care, and then to start the operation to free the area. 


We call on the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Yerevan Municipality, the institute of the RA Human Rights Defender to fulfill their powers to ensure those people’s right not to be left outside (in particular, in this weather), their right to health, the children’s right to be housed, to receive education, and other rights, and in general, the right not to feel unsafe in the Republic of Armenia. 


Despite the fact that the evacuation operations of the Police are based on the Government's decision and the letter of the State Revenue Committee, the very way the police operate, the use of force, the intimidation of people and leaving them to the whims of fortune is condemnable, since, as a result, along with many health, financial, and social problems, the residents became homeless.


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