More than 100 advocates have already joined this protest. They protest against the requirements of stop-and-frisk for access to courts and penitentiaries.
Tigran Hayrapetyan, Arayik Papikyan and Mushegh Shushanyan,Advocates of Sasna Dzrer cases,participated in the discussion on this topic held at Media Center on August 29.
Arayik Papikyan says that the cases and problems of obstructing the professional activities of advocates have arisen before the start of the trial at the preliminary stage.
“Cases of illegal activities, stop-and-frisks or interference with conversations with our clients have been frequent at penitentiaries. We have voiced many times, and the corresponding bodies did not solve the problem. The Chamber of Advocates made a number of statements, each of which did not only solve the problem but also deepened it,” Papikyan said.
He underlines that neither the Judicial Department, nor the Chamber of Advocates has tried to bring a legal solution to the issue, so the lawyers have initiated a strike.
An invitation to the discussion was also sent to the Judicial Department but they refused to participate in the discussion.
Mushegh Shushanyan says that during the preliminary investigation, in February, he was forbidden to visit his defendants in Armavir Penitentiary. He filed a lawsuit to initiate a criminal case on this occasion but the case was rejected. It has been appealed to the Prosecutor's Office, where it has also been denied, and now the case is at the First Instance Court.
“These issues are exclusively related to the protection of our defendants within the cases of Sasna Tsrer and Zhirayr Sefilyan. In any other case, the advocates have never faced such a problem. I have participated in various political trials, have never faced such problems,” Shushanyan said.
Tigran Hayrapetyan says he has addressed to the Human Rights Commissioner, the RA President and has not received an answer yet.
“I affirm that this problem occurred exceptionally during the cases of Sasna Dzrer and Jirayr Sefilyan. Law on Advocacy directly statesthat an advocate cannot be frisked, besides, those belongings of an advocate, which relate to legal aid, are immune, that is, no one can be forced to see them,” Hayrapetyan said.
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Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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