Civil Society demands to stop hindering professional activities of lawyers

 

The civil society is highly concerned about the cases regarding the hindrance of professional activities of the advocates of the “Sasna Tsrer” Armed Group members, “Zhiryr Sefilyan and friends”, as well as the cases “Nork Armed Group”. The Law Enforcement Bodies, in cooperation with the judiciary hindered the professional activities of the advocates thus restraining their right to effective remedy.  Besides the fact that the hindrance to the professional activities of an advocate is criminal action, no one has been subjected to liability for that.

The cases of use of violence against the advocates by the police servicemen are considered more worrying. Particularly, on June 28, the Police servicemen used violence against advocates Lusine Sahakyan, Ara Zakaryan not allowing the latter to go to police station in support to protest for Sasna Tsrer Armed Group.

The judicial bailiffs unlawfully and arbitrary demand to conduct investigation towards the advocates involved in the above mentioned cases, meanwhile such examination has never been conducted before. During the examination, the advocates are required to empty and show the belongings in their pockets and bags. Despite the fact, that the Judicial Department considers this action lawful, as prescribed by the Judicial Code, but according to the community of advocates, this action is an illegal examination. Besides, the examination is conducted to detect the forbidden objects, but no legal act defines the list of the forbidden objects.

Judicial sanctions were arbitrarily applied towards the advocates, which target the advocates, who criticized the independence and impartiality of the court. Moreover, the judge does not allow the advocate to present his recommendations during the decision made on sanctioning. Judicial sanctions were also applied against the advocates, when the latter refuse to be examined before and after entering the court room without the permission of the judge.

The civil society representatives are concerned, that through the application of sanctions against separate advocates, the judges try to replace them with public defenders, which will cooperate with authority and will not ensure proper political protection of the defendants.

The exercise of the advocates’ right to fair trail and freedom of expression is directly correlated with the individuals’ constitutional right to legal assistance; therefore, the hindrance of the professional activities of the advocates in such a way violated their right to fair trial. Taking into consideration the above mentioned, we urge

 

The Police

Stop any kind of intervention to the professional activities of the advocates, as well as institute criminal cases in regard to hindrance and use of violence.

 

Judicial Department

Stop the unlawful and arbitrary examination of the advocates and organize the public security insurance measures in accordance with the order as prescribed by law.

 

 

Chamber of advocates

Take the effective and independent role for the protection of advocates’ interests: conduct a detailed examination on the cases related to disciplinary reliability to check their legitimacy.

 

 

Open Society Foundations-Armenia

“Biosophia” NGO

Yerevan Press Club

Transparency International Anti-corruption Center

Journalists’ “Asparez” Club

Union of Informed Citizens NGO

Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation

Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression

Collaboration for Democracy Centre

Ecolur Informational NGO

“Sose Women’s Issues” NGO

Peace Dialogue NGO

Artashat Civic Youth Centre

Women’s Support Center

For Equal Rights NGO

Article 3 Club

Yerevan Center for Protection of Human Rights NGO

Boundaries of Our Rights NGO

Foundation Against the Violation of Law NGO

Women’s Rights Center NGO

Transparency International Anticorruption Center

Ecological Right NGO

LogoS Human Rights Defence NGO

Helsinki Human Rights Group of Spitak NGO

New Generation Humanitarian NGO

Ani Aghagyulyan, High School of Economics, Master’s Degree Student

Karen Tumanyan, Attorney

Tigran Hayrapetyan, Attorney