«Electricyerevan» - One Year Later. "Open Issues" Require Responses
24.06.2016
12:00
Although a year has passed from the rebels of the citizens against the electricity price increase on Baghramyan Avenue and the cases of violence against the journalists covering the events called “electricyerevan" by law enforcement officials, “there is no progress in the investigation of cases”.

“In legal terms we have inactivity. The affairs of the Special Investigative Service nearly does not give responses about these cases. Information is not provided even to journalists and human rights activists. We cannot know on what stage the investigation of the complaints is,” Lawyer and Public speaker Zara Hovhannisyan said during the discussion following the film screening “#electricyerevan: A Day of Violated Rights in Goris.   

"Media Center" organized the film screening of “#electricyerevan: A Day of Violated Rights documentary in the Office of Goris Press Club, on June 24. The film screening was followed by a discussion about the developments during the year after the struggle and the issues of human rights in Armenia.  After struggling in the development and protection of human rights problems that occurred during the year. The speakers of the discussion were Lawyer and Public speaker Zara Hovhannisyan and civic activist, "Civil contract" Party Member Karo Ghukasyan.

Representatives of Goris NGOs, rural residents of Syunik region and students attended the discussion. The film was possible to make with the support of "Open Society Foundations-Armenia" organization. 

Zara Hovhannisyan described the events of June 23, on the Baghramyan Avenue to be "a perverse use of brute force" when the police used a water cannon to disperse the peaceful gathering of citizens.  "There can be no question of the proportionality of police operations. No one can explain how it happened that the water cannons were used against peaceful demonstrators," the lawyer said, adding that there are many such open issues requiring responses."

Karo Ghukasyan agreed with Hovhannisyan's opinion who said that the police "does nothing", and there is a feeling that they do not treat these issues seriously. "The police is the institution which receives the most grants to reform his system. I cannot say if the system has changed or not, but I hope that they made conclusions after the events of last year at least," he said.

At the same time, judging by the behavior of the police during the events followed by June 23 and public demonstrations, Zara Hovhannisyan said that the police understood that it is impossible to silence the rebellious society by brutal force. "Any attempts to silence the public by brute force may result in even stronger public rage. It happened on June 23 last year, when after the police actions several times more people gathered on the Baghramyan Avenue in the same evening," the lawyer said.

Karo Ghukasyan said that anyway “Electricyerevan” movement faded and did not achieve its final goal that is the cancelation of the decision about the increase of electricity prices. “I now see that there were people with whom I will not continue my way,” Ghukasyan said without mentioning names but describing those people as “embedded”. “I don’t know from where they came and started to lead the situation,” he recalled.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to arshaluismghdesyan@pjc.am.

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