Today, International Partnership for Human Rights in partnership with Norwegian Helsinki Committee and several other human rights organizations in Armenia presented analysis on basic violations of human rights during July 17-30 peaceful protests in Yerevan.
The report contains information obtained as a result of the fact-finding work during July 28 to August 1 in Yerevan. The report summarizes testimonies of 42 victims and eyewitnesses.
The report introduces the proof on interference in the work of journalists, apprehension of peaceful dwellers, violations during arrests, suppression and persecution of activists. The report also contains legal analysis on violation of International legal norms and Armenian national jurisdiction.
Presenting the report, Lene Wetteland, Senior Adviser of Norwegian Helsinki Committee, mentioned that it was not the first time that she participated in the monitoring of peaceful assemblies in Armenia, and, nevertheless, she was bewildered at the response of Armenian authorities in regard with hindering peaceful assemblies on July 17-30. “I saw the behavior of Armenian authorities during demonstrations on March 1, 2008 and Electric Yerevan in 2015, and this July was not an exception. The authorities did not have the right to such behavior, even if the demonstrators behaved aggressively. The police officers even broke into the houses of peaceful dwellers and subjected the latter to inhuman treatment”.
Lene Wetteland said that there were cases of unjustified arrests, the grounds for arrests were not presented, as well as after arrests the demonstrators were not provided adequate legal aid.
According to Nina Karapetyants, newly appointed President of Helsinki Association in Armenia, nothing extraordinary happened in terms of acts of violence by police. “The number of apprehended persons was extraordinary, the police departments in Yerevan were full and people were taken to police departments in Hrazdan, Armavir, Gyumri, Vanadzor and even to military units”.
Arthur Sakunts, Chairperson at Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, said that the Armenian authorities did not bestir themselves to make police accountable for their actions, to provide adequate legal assessment.
Haykuhi Harutyunyan, President Protection of Rights without Borders, mentioned that in his speech the RA President Serzh Sargsyan emphasized and thanked the law enforcement bodies for their good work, which suggested how the investigation of cases, carried out by law enforcement bodies, would proceed and what the results would be.
Summarizing the report Svetlana Valko, field mission Coordinator of International Partnership for Human Rights, emphasized that they had made relevant recommendations in the report, urging the Government of the Republic of Armenia to take appropriate measures to punish those responsible for violations and to restore social justice in the country.