On September 4 of 2017, the Legal Department of the RA Police responded to the information note on the criminal persecution instituted against the participants of “Sasna Tsrer” group activities and other related events, as well as the human rights violations during the trial on the case of Vahan Shirkhanyan and others elaborated by the “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO.
In the information note, the Organization expresses its concerns over the police demand to subject the advocate Mushegh Shushanyan to disciplinary sanction for expressing his opinion on the police activities on June 28 of 2017.
In response to the expressed concern, the Police stated that the disrespectful expressions were made towards law enforcement bodies and the Police, in accordance with the order, applied to the RA Chamber of Advocates to make the respective assessments.
The following justification on the violence subjected against Lusine Sahakyan and Ara Zakaryan by the police near the building of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Avan and Nork Administrative Districts on June 28 of 2017 was presented.
“The police servicemen, within the authorities as prescribed by the legislation, have carried out their function of maintaining public order”. As stated by Police, the RA Law on “Advocacy” does not set a provision, according to which the advocate has a right to oppose the legitimate requirements of the employee of law enforcement body and break the police chain to show support to his/her trustee “by all means”.
The Police also informed that an internal investigation on the mentioned case was initiated at the Internal Security Service of the RA Police. Lusine Sahakyan was invited to give explanation, but the latter did not appear at the Police Station due to some occupation and the advocate A. Zakaryan did not answer the phone calls.
By the initial outcomes of the service investigation conducted without the participation of the advocates, other factual data regarding the use of violence against the advocates by the policemen or hindrance to their professional activities have not been detected.
As informed by the Police, a criminal case on the mentioned case has been instituted at the RA Special Investigative Committee, the pre-investigation of which is ongoing.
The Police presented the following announcement in regard to the facts on the use of violence against Ararat Khandoyan, Areg Kyureghyan, Smbat Barseghyan and Mkhitar Avetisyan by policemen first at the court room and then in the basement of the court building on June 29 of 2017.
According to the Police, some accused, after being taken out from the court room, showed active disobedience towards the policemen and insulted the latter. In order to prevent the disobedience, appropriate physical force was used by the police, to which some detainees responded by hitting the doors of the cells with hand and feet.
As recorded by the Police, some people may have stretches in the outcome of the mentioned case or by the use of force by Police.
Summarizing the response, the Police mentioned, that analysis on empiric level were presented in the information note on “Human Rights and Justice Crisis in Armenia during the Months of January-July” elaborated by the “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO, where to all the police activities were given strictly one-sided and distorted assessments, by commenting the realities under subjective perception and according to personal taste in order to create an illusion of arbitrariness by law enforcement bodies.
It should be mentioned that an information note on “Human Rights and Justice Crisis in “Armenia during the Months of January-July of 2017” was elaborated by the Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO on July of 2017.
The information note elaborated by the Organization also includes a recommendation package, which have been presented to the respective state agencies, including RA Chamber of Advocates, Ombudsman’s Office, RA Judicial Department, Council of Justice, RA General Prosecutor’s Office, RA Police etc., expecting to stop the ongoing human rights violations as well as, insurance of full respect for human rights.
The issues related to the legitimacy of subjecting the advocates to personal search from the point of view of Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as from the point of view of the right to fair trail regarding the application of judicial sanctions against the advocates and detainees, as well as removing them from the court room were recorded in the information note.