The Media Center hosted a press conference on Police Head’s decision. The speakers included: Hasmik Sahakyan, Head of the Public Monitoring Group on Detention Facilities of the RA Police; Arthur Harutyunyan, advocate, plaintiff; and Vahram Abrahamyan, Head of the Emergency Department of the RA Police.
Following the Police Head’s decision, Arthur Harutyunyan was removed from the monitoring group in February 2015.
Hasmik Sahakyan insists the decision hinders the activities of the group. “We have been working with these internal regulations defined in Point E of Category 9 of the decision for ten years. We have applied to the police to remove that point. As the police don’t take any step to tackle the issue, we have lodged a motion to the Administrative Court,” Sahakyan said.
Arthur Harutyunyan said the normative legal act has a discrimination against citizens who are advocates and are eager to be involved in the monitoring group.
“The group used to include people who obtained an advocate’s license during their involvement in the group and had to leave because of the requirement. I am the person who could not put up with it and tried to appeal the decision at the administrative court,” Harutyunyan said. He worked in the monitoring group from November 2012 to February 2015.
“I was well aware of the normative act but after getting the advocate’s license I’ve been to detention facilities several times and tried to appeal the norm. It is a case of strategical importance for our group,” Harutyunyan said.
Vahram Abrahamyan opposed noting the Police have never hindered the activities of the monitoring group and their joint work has brought about substantial changes.
“The Police Head’s decision is based on the law and compulsory for everyone. The police have acted within the law and that legal act cannot obstruct the work of the group,” Abrahamyan said. “Advocates are involved in various criminal cases and information can leak. The detainees can tell certain details to the advocate of the monitoring group and the latter may pass the information to another detainee to conceal some details and facts of the crime.”
Arthur Harutyunyan said: “In addition to the regulations that we have, there is also a conduct code. Lawyers have a conduct code and know what consequences its violation may result in. All they want to do is to check the health of detainees. Otherwise, any member of the monitoring group will be able to take information from detainees and use it.”
The involvement of an advocate in the group, Abrahamyan is convinced, may lead to the excessive interest of advocates.
“There is no need to change the act as the monitoring group may include a lawyer. But if the court decides that the act should be amended or if the point is revoked, we will fulfill the requirement,” Abrahamyan said.
Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator
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