RA Human Rights Defender’s Office
Pushkin 56a, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
On March 14th, at about 20:00, during our three-day 24-hour sit-in on the territory of Mashtots park, while I was sleeping in the tent - an equipment necessary and not prohibited by law* in such weather conditions during such protests - I woke up from someone hitting the tent. I tried to stand up and get out of the sleeping bag and found out that the cover of the tent was absent above my head and some people were trying to use brutal force to get me out of the tent and wrench my arms. I sat down on the ground and demanded to allow me to take my glasses on - a demand that was denied. The people breaking the tent down were policemen - evidenced by their uniforms and insignia. I was in no way warned that the police were planning to destroy or otherwise remove the tent.
I stood up and let the policemen wrench my hands without resistance and drag me to the police car, but police Lt. Colonel Karen Movsisyan ordered to let me go for reasons unexplained. I remained standing on wet ground without my shoes, my coat and my glasses.
My coat and my glasses, as well as the rest of the blankets and sleeping bags were returned by the police at the demands of the protesters, but the police protocol on the content of the tent, signed by unknown witnesses, was never shown to the protesters and we were never given a copy, as though law demands it.
An on-site inspection showed that no medium or heavy damage had been caused to my health directly.
As further evidence and video materials showed, the police had made a law-breaking attempt to disperse the peaceful protest. During that attempt, applying violence on the protesters, they had circled the tent and started to level it to the ground with their boots. The protesters had warned them that there is a person in the tent, but the police had not paid any attention to them.
The next day, according to evidence that needs to be solidified by facts, police Lt. Colonel Karen Movsisyan made a statement to the press, quote “you’re acting as if there was a person in the tent, but it was nothing more than Bayandur”. RA Citizenship Law, Chapter 1, Article 3 reads: “All the citizens of the Republic of Armenia are equal to the law independent of their means of receiving RA Citizenship, nationality, race, gender, language, religion, political or other views, social status, material and other states, they have all the rights, freedoms and obligations defined by the Constitution and the Law”. The statement, made by police Lt. Colonel Karen Movsisyan, a representative and enforcer of the law, contradicts to it.
I am ready to fight in all law instances against the violation of my and other protesters’ rights by the RA police, for finding out and strictly punishing both the givers and the executors of the orders, as well as demand RA police LT Colonel Karen Movsisyan to be relieved of his duties as a police officer for discrediting the RA Law and RA law enforcement agencies while being a representative of the law.
Citizen of the Republic of Armenia, a Mashtots park activist,
* The tent has been claimed to be a necessary and non-prohibited equipment for a sit-in by a representative of the RA Human Rights Defender’s office.