Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

A criminal case has been initiated based on the forcible apprehension of bereaved mothers in Yerablur: a report by HCAV was attached to the case

October 19, 2022

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HCAV’s report on forcible apprehension of a bereaved mother in Yerablur on 21 September 2022 was attached to the initiated criminal case. This information was provided by the RA Prosecutor General’s Office.  

 

HCAV made a crime report hours after the incident based on the publication of news.am (That scum won’t defile my son’s grave: a killed serviceman’s mother’s condition worsened when being apprehended). The video shows how law enforcement officials with red berets use force to apprehend a bereaved mother, not even paying attention to the fact that the woman started feeling bad, and later even fainted. The Police officers continue their forcible activities even after that. 

 

Police officers thus once again obviously exceeded their scope of authority by grossly violating human rights and freedoms enshrined in the RA Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

HCA Vanadzor requested the RA Prosecutor General to initiate criminal proceedings no later than within 24 hours established by law, and conduct an objective, complete and comprehensive investigation. 

 

The Prosecutor General’s Office informed us that the criminal proceedings were initiated on September 23, and HCAV’s report was attached to the proceedings on September 27.

 

On September 22, 35 NGOs, including HCA Vanadzor, made a statement condemning the incident, noting that the RA Police leadership’s issuance and implementation of unlawful forcible activities against citizens is inadmissible. Moreover, ordering use of force against and detention of family members of the servicemen killed when protecting the state goes beyond all thresholds of morality. Further, by this statement, NGOs demanded the resignation of the chief of police. Despite this, it is still not known what the response of the Police was, whether, in addition to criminal proceedings, a service investigation was conducted, and proper assessments were given. Taking into account that in such cases, criminal cases are unnecessarily delayed, suspended or dismissed, and during all that period the offender policemen continue their service and unlawful conduct, the public has the perception that those policemen remain unpunished, which, in its turn, leads to decrease of trust in Police.

 

We can record that the obvious unlawful conduct of the Police in Yerablur is the result of the atmosphere of impunity. For years on end, HCAV has been making reports regarding unlawful practices of the Police, and yet, no policeman has been held liable so far.

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