Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

HCA Vanadzor sums up cases of human rights violations recorded in 2019. Information paper

February 20, 2020

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Police conduct has not undergone radical changes 


The information paper sums up human right violation cases as recorded by online mass media in 2019. HCA Vanadzor monitored 15 online media, RA Police and RA Special Investigation Service official websites in order to collect human rights violation cases. 


As a post-revolution year, 2019 was quiet from the perspective of freedom and variety of public events. According to mass media publications, 90 human rights violation cases were recorded in 2019. For the sake of comparison, let us note that 304 human rights violation cases were recorded in 2015, 338 human right violation cases were recorded in 2016, 107 human right violation cases were recorded in 2017 and 181 human right violation cases were recorded in 2018.   


49 out of 90 cases of the reporting year occurred during and as a result of public events, 41 were of individual nature. 


Comparison of individual human rights violation cases by police officers and human rights violation cases by police officers that occurred during or as a result of participation in assemblies in 2015-2019. 


Monitoring results show that as a rule, cases of individual nature are not properly publicized by responsible bodies and are not sufficiently covered. 


Among the most frequently violated rights are the right to liberty and security and the right to be free from physical violence, just as during previous monitored years. 


Though the tendency of human rights violations decreased during the reporting year, police actions still have not undergone a radical change. 


Despite the RA Prime Minister’s announced opinions regarding the Police, police officers still continued human rights violations by use of physical force. Moreover, those violations are selective, freedom-restricting, unpredictable and contrary to the principle of legal certainty. The Police also manifested inaction in situations that required their interference. 


Monitoring results allow stating that both before and after the revolution the Police continue 


  • concealing torture cases and leaving the perpetrators unpunished
  • not providing principles of accountable and transparent work style 
  • apprehending persons illegally and without legal justification and not writing the right time of apprehension in the register 
  • making use of plainclothes police officers’ services and violating people’s right to freedom of assembly
  • arbitrarily obstructing public events
  • not adhering to the principle of legal certainty, when a person is apprehended for expressing a threat, but the actions of the person using swearing words are not prevented in the police division for, as if, giving his actions a legal assessment later
  • presenting contradictory justifications to participants of similar public actions: for example, closing the entrance and exit of courts is considered a spontaneous assembly and in another case, accumulation of police forces at the entrance is justified by the necessity to ensure free movements
  • apprehending persons before and after a demonstration,invading homes at night 
  • degrading persons’ dignity, videorecording and disseminating it 
  • targeting persons according to one feature, for example, for being ″bull-necked″ or dressed in black


Thus, HCA Vanadzor concludes that police conduct has not undergone any radical change, they continue acting without providing the principles of legal certainty and legal predictability. 


Full information paper is available HERE (in Armenian)

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