Evidence of police mistreatment of detained opposition supporters is breaking media blackout in Armenia. In an interview with Radio Liberty (6 March, main evening broadcast), one of detainees Chakhoyan described how police beat him up when he was detained in a central district police station of capital Yerevan. He provided eyewitness account of other detainees being beaten up and mistreated with various forms of physical and verbal assaults too.
Today, first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan office published names of 2 persons who were beaten up by police: Grizelda Ghazaryan (wife of academician Rafael Ghazaryan, who was among leaders of 88s Karabakh movement) and Gohar Ghazaryan. The evidence is passed to Prosecutor-General office, office of Armenia’s Human Rights Ombudsman and human rights Helsinki Initiative.
Այսօր ՀՀ առաջին նախագահ Լեւոն Տեր-Պետրոսյանի գրասենյակը հրապարակել է ոստիկանության կողմից խոշտագված երկու անձանց անուններ:
Ըստ այդմ, ոստիկանների կողմից ծեծի են ենթարկվել Գրիզելդա Ղազարյանը եւ Գոհար Ղազարյանը: Փաստի մասին տեղեկացվել է ՀՀ դատախազությունը, Մարդու իրավունքների պաշտպանի գրասենյակը եւ Հելսինկյան նախաձեռնությանը:
Few days ago, in their statement of 2 March, the only opposition party represented in Armenian parliament - Heritage party, deplored police mistreatment of detainees. Here is what they had to say:
Armenian National Assembly members Miasnik Malkhasyan and Hakob Hakobyan were arrested on suspicion of provoking disorderly conduct during the political opposition’s recent demonstrations. Heritage Party parliamentarians Larisa Alaverdian’s and Zaruhi Postanjian’s subsequent attempts to visit the preliminary confinement unit of the Special Sixth Department of the National Police, where the two deputies are currently being detained, as well as the morgues of the Armenian capital, have met up against administrative obstacles placed by the relevant executive bodies. This fact stands as a severe violation of the law which regulates the rights and privileges of members of the National Assembly.
In addition, the reports received from the legal defenders of several arrestees allow us to assert that all of Yerevan’s detention halls are full of people who have become the patent victims of police brutality. And this fact is the real reason why the Heritage MPs were not permitted to visit the above-mentioned confinement unit.
We are deeply concerned with the present condition of those who are currently in custody, and this situation confirms the public fear that the country’s law enforcement bodies actually do not intend to carry out a fair and unbiased investigation into this and all other tragic events which have taken the lives of Armenian citizens.
In view of the aforementioned, we address the world community, which is represented here by the OSCE/PACE observation mission, and insist that international experts also partake in the future examinations of this national calamity.