Statement on Protesters Deprived of Freedom Unlawfully

As at 3.00 pm on April 17, 2018, according to the information received through the Joint Hotline of Human Rights Defenders, citizens (protesters carrying out a protest action) were detained in different parts of Yerevan and taken to different police stations without any grounds.

Some of these citizens were unlawfully held there for longer than the established timeframe of 3 hours. 2 of the detainees have been at Mashtots Police Division since 09.30 am. As at 2.20 pm, no investigative or judicial proceedings were carried out with them. 33 protesters have been held at Arabkir Police Division for nearly five hours. 14 citizens, including David Petrosyan, the coordinator of the initiative “YSU Restart”, are at Nor Nork Police Division. No investigative or judicial proceedings were carried out with these persons either.

According to the information provided by those detained and taken to Erebouni Police Division, from 8.00 am to the moment of releasing the statement, 9 persons are at the division. These persons were forced to sign a document, according to which they were supposed to be released as at 11.00 am. One of the detainees, V. H., was subjected to violence in the police car and turned to Erebouni Medical Center. Throughout the aforementioned activities, the work of advocates (in particular, their entrance to police divisions and the provision of legal assistance to the detained persons) was obstructed. Information was received, according to which protesters were subjected to violence by police officers, including the red berets, in different parts of the city.

 

We hereby condemn the grave violation of the peaceful protesters’ right to freedom and inviolability as well as the right to freedom of assembly and demand to immediately cease the peaceful protesters’ persecution and release the protesters deprived of freedom.

 

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor Armenian Helsinki

Committee Journalists Club “Asparez”

Transparency International Anticorruption

Center Union of Informed Citizens NGO

Helsinki Association

Open Society Foundations-Armenia

Zaruhi Hovhannisyan, human rights defender

New Generation Humanitarian NGO

Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation Foundation

Against the Violation of Law NGO

Protectoin of rights Withouts Borders NGO

Kristina Gevorkyan, advocate Real World,

Real People NGO

Pink Armenia

Vanadzor Civil Youth Center

Injevan Civil Youth Center

Ani Aghagulyan, human rights defender,

YSU PHD CPI Armenian Center

Women’s Resources Center NGO

“Agate” Rights Defense Center for Women with Disabilities NGO

Shirak Center NGO

Hrazdan Civil Youth Center

Women’s Support Center NGO

Women’s Rights Center NGO

Spiritual Armenia NGO

Human Rights House Yerevan

Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression

Association of Young Journalists NGO

Yerevan Press Club

Narine Galstyan Public Journalism Club

For Equal Rights

Journalists For The Future

Tatevik NGO Media Initiatives Center

Gyumri Civil Youth Center

Ejmiatsin Branch of the Association of Women with University Education

“Free Citizen” Civic Initiatives Support Center NGO