Rights Defenders Accuse the Special Investigation Service of “Biased” and “Unfair” Investigation
04.05.2015
12:00
The Special Investigation Service (SIS) does not conduct an unbiased and fair investigation of cases which involve officials who allegedly have exerted physical and psychological violence on civilians, rights defenders said at the Media Center hosted press conference.

Artur Sakunts, Head of HCA Vanadzor, believes any investigation is inefficient even if there is sufficient evidence to prove police brutality.

“Alexander Tsveryanov was accused of 16 thefts because some police officers – through violence and threatening - made him give testimony. But now the court found Tsveryanov not guilty. Still, impartial and comprehensive investigation is not held, police officers are not charged. It is illogical,” Sakunts said.

SIS attempts to hide such cases instead of resolving them, lawyer Tigran Safaryan said.

“Shamiryan is serving his imprisonment at Hrazdan Prison and he has made a deal with prison guards to bring cell phones into the prison and sell them among prisoners. The guards have so far had their share in each deal. Now the case is investigated by SIS but we don’t see any intention to resolve the case,” Safaryan said.

The prison guards have not been involved in the case, moreover, they are not dismissed, Safaryan added.

Ani Boshyan spoke on the psychological pressure and threatening she had to go through at the police station.

“The reasons for my detention are still unknown. I am accused of cybercrime. I was threatened that if I refused to testify, I would be kept at the police station for another 72 hours and then be moved to a women’s prison,” Boshyan said.

Lawyer Arayik Zalyan said SIS acts in the same way whenever investigations are supposed to involve law enforcement officials.

“In the majority of cases the testimonies by police officers are found reliable and not those of the victims. Filing a pretrial motion is inefficient since they usually end with rejection,” Zalyan said.

Sakunts recalled the law on SIS which defines that SIS is subject to the President since the SIS Head and deputy heads are appointed by the President.

“Annual reports are submitted to the President and Prime Minister whereas the National Assembly has not leverage of controlling the activities of SIS,” Sakunts said.

The Media Center invited representatives of the Special Investigation Service to the press conference but they refused.

Officials are hardly ever charged even if cases are opened, the rights defenders claim.

“It is the lack of political will that matters since the current legislation actually ensures the conduct of unbiased and independent investigation. The political power does not consider the police a means of enforcing law or limiting civil disorder. The police are a tool to maintain the power, a means of exerting pressure, violence on people and making them obedient,” Sakunts said.

Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator

Please contact the author at lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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