On 18.05.2022, the rapid response groups of the Office of
the Human Rights Defender conducted visits to 7 Police stations in Yerevan, a
visit to the Police station of Masis city of Ararat province, as well as to the
Police station of Vagharshapat city of Armavir province.
The following violations were recorded:
1. Attempts were made to apprehend a deputy of the National
Assembly of Armenia Mr. Artsvik Minasyan, within the framework of which Police
officers attempted to put him in a Police vehicle. Moreover, Police servicemen
dragged and pulled the deputy. The fact that although the Police servicemen
recognized the person, addressed him by his name, then tried to apprehend him
through the use of force. The Human Rights Defender notes that it is not
permissible to deprive a deputy of their liberty, except when they are arrested
while committing a crime or immediately after. The Defender also took note of
the information received from the Police regarding the initiation of
disciplinary proceedings against the relevant Police servicemen.
2. A case of beating and swearing at two minors by Police
servicemen in the Security division in Karen Demirchyan metro station. The use
of physical force, swearing or any other act of degrading dignity of a person
in the Police station are acts which are subject to criminal prosecution.
Committing such an act towards a person who is obviously a minor is
particularly inadmissible. In relation to this incident, the Defender urgently
contacted the leadership of the Police; the Police assured the Defender that
the details of the incident were being analyzed in order to give a proper
3. During the private interviews held with apprehended
persons, they revealed that Police servicemen used disproportionate force.
Moreover, the use of force was sometimes manifested by inflicting various blows
and punches, including in the area of the head of persons.
4. The cases of apprehending persons from sidewalks, from
areas adjacent to the roads, and from parks were widespread. In certain cases,
citizens who were not participating in the rallies were subjected to
administrative arrest. This implies that the apprehending of certain persons
was not conditioned with the fact that they did not comply with the legal
demands of Police servicemen.
5. The monitoring that was conducted today recorded cases
where protesters threatened, insulted, and committed other provocative acts
against Police servicemen. Incidents aimed at obstructing the activities of
Police servicemen and the implementation of their duties were registered. It is
more concerning when an influential political leader of the protests constantly
threatens Police servicemen who are conducting their duties with direct threats
of revenge. Such behavior is condemnable, and does not derive from the
obligations of the organizers of the protests to ensure its peaceful nature.