“Civil Activists Were Detained after the Armed Attack in Yerevan: Legal Assessments”
During the last two days, the civil activists were detained and taken not to the police station but to the Unit of Police Forces: Human rights defenders said this during the discussion at Media Center.

“I was just astonished. We saw someone taking by the police car, a passer-by approached and asked why they were taking him, and they replied, “You also come with us and we will tell you why.” Some of them were kept there for more than 10 hours, and there was a case in Ashtarak when the person was kept more than a day,” Daniel Ioannisyan, representative of "Informed Citizens Association" NGO, said.

On July 17 early morning armed members of "Sasna Tzrer" group entered the police patrol regiment of the Erebuni district and continue to hold hostage the police officers there, demanding the release of Zhirayr Sefilyan, member of “Founding Parliament”, accused of illegal arms and ammunition acquisition, retention and transfer about a month ago. They also called upon the citizens to go out and join their requirements.

The armed attack was followed by the organization of a protest at Freedom Square, then organization of a march, during which the police detained many citizens and civic activists.
Daniel said that during the two days 150-200 people were detained in Yerevan.

“Telephones were confiscated from all the citizens taken to 10 33 military unit of the police, and we had no idea for a long time that people were taken to a military unit. practice of taking people to the military unit also continued at the Freedom Square yesterday from where the civil activists were taken to another unit in Davtashen. The reforms, held in the Police, turned into nothing in one day. On the way to the unit the citizens were beaten, the conditions in the unit were awful, the citizens were taken into a hall without food like Prisoners of War. Some people who had old deals with the police, were brought out, and beaten, the atmosphere was generally like this,” Ioannisyan said.

He added that member of “Barev Yerevan” Pact David Sanasaryan was tortured yesterday.

“David and some other people were tortured on the way yesterday. He was beaten to such a degree that has received a brain concussion. In addition, the policemen tried to humiliate the boys, they were forced to kiss the boots of the police, they spit on them, and the outflow of invectives is meaningless to mention. David was tortured also in the police unit until he lost consciousness. He was unconscious for about 10 minutes lying on the floor, then they poured water over his face, and he recovered. After that, they stopped beating,” Ioannisyan said.

President of Protection of Rights without Border NGO Haykuhi Harutyunyan said that even ordinary citizens walking in the street were detained. “There is no legal basis, assessment to justify the actions of the police. They simply kidnapped and robbed the citizens on the street, isolated them from the places where they believed that potential mass gatherings could be possible, isolated persons who have prestige, influence and fame in the country and their word could be decisive. Citizens were humiliated by submitting to violence, so that people get disappointed, tired, and stopped their actions. They attempt to overthrow the civil uprising by the use of force and the police activities,” Harutyunyan said.

Lawyer at"Against Violation of Law" NGO Ara Karagyozyan said that he was at the police unit on July 17, where civil activist Vaghinak Shushanyan was detained. “I was there already at 5: 30am, the police were armed and did not even allow to enter. The citizens remained in custody, and no legal argument was not mentioned why lawyer cannot enter. I waited there for four hours and were not allowed to go in. They hindered my work and to hinder the work of the advocate is a crime. Then at 1:30 Vaghinak Shushanyan came out from the police unit out completely bruised and battered. In fact, they beat him with handcuffs. A person who has no status and is kept in custody for 9 hours without food and water is considered inhumane and cruel treatment,» Karagyozyan said.

The advocate said that yesterday he submitted 3 reports on "illegal deprivation" of Shushanyan’s freedom, hindering his advocacy activities and torturing and beating Shushanyan.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to [email protected]

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