Civic Activism and Violence Acts: Overview of the Actions of the Law Enforcement Agencies
Gevorg Safarian was assaulted just hours after attending a demonstration staged by dozens of fellow members of the PreParliament opposition movement outside the Armenian police headquarters. They protested against a series of arson attacks on cars belonging to PreParliament activists.

The Media Center initiated a panel discussion entitled “Civic Activism and Violence Acts: Overview of the Actions of the Law Enforcement Agencies.” The panelists included: Vardan Hakobyan, Member of PreParliament, civic activist; Yervand Varosyan, lawyer at Bagin Law Firm; Vahagn Minasyan, civic activist; and Tigran Yegoryan, lawyer at the Europe in Law Association NGO.

“If a gang manages to burn cars in six different places in the city, it can mean we either don’t have police or it is them who do it all,” said Vardan Hakobyan.

VardanHakobyan believes the September 3 statement on joining the Customs Union triggered the escalation of violence in Armenia.

“So far they have tried to harmonize their actions with the European criteria but after September 3 the police and judicial system obviously changed the policies and attitudes. I think it all comes from the faulty culture of the Customs Union,” said Hakobyan.

Presently, there is a tendency, Yervand Varosyan believes, to make silent and threaten any citizen who is active in this or other respect.

Vahagn Minasyan described the detention cases of civic activists as absurd comedies since “they simply take and hold citizens at the police stations to prevent or hinder protests. When released, activists return but protests have already been interrupted or paralyzed somehow,” said Minasyan.

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