On 15 October 2021, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor made a report to the RA Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan regarding the incident of apprehending Yerevan resident Vazgen Rafayelyan by using violence.
Based on the report, on 25 October 2021, a criminal case was initiated in the RA Anti-Corruption Committee under Article 309 part 2 of the RA Criminal Code (exceeding official authorities, committed with violence, weapons, or special measures), but on November 25, the case was discontinued.
On 14 October 2021, a video was posted on the internet, where around 30-40 policemen and Yerevan municipality employees, abusing their official authorities and using force, apprehend Yerevan resident Vazgen Rafayelyan in front of his three minor children. According to publications, the children acquired health problems after the incident.
The day before the incident, Yerevan municipality informed V. Rafayelyan’s representative that they were planning to demolish the unauthorized building belonging to him, where V. Rafayelyan’s family actually lived.
Even if we ignore the fact that the municipality’s decision is in the phase of appeal and in this condition, they did not have the right to demolish the property or take any other action, the policemen and municipality employees had no authority to treat the citizen that way.
In terms of protecting human rights and freedoms, use of disproportionate force by the RA state competent bodies’ employees and police representatives, extreme inhuman and illegal conduct, as well as the condition that minor children were present and a participant of the incident, are extremely worrisome.
Nonetheless, the Anti-Corruption Committee acting senior investigator B. Adamyan did not find corpus delicti of exceeding official authorities in policemen’s actions. HCA Vanadzor has already appealed that decision. In the appeal made on November 23, it is mentioned that the body conducting investigation based on the relevant report implemented its legislative obligations very poorly and did not objectively examine and assess factual circumstances and evidence of the case.