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2019 Aug
20

Statement by Civil Society Organizations on violation of freedom of peaceful assembly by police on August 19

On August 19, 2019 for the first time in the aftermath of the revolution, serious and widespread violations of freedom of assembly took place in the Republic of Armenia, requiring the leadership of the country to assess and review current practice.

On August 19, 2019 the citizens of the Republic of Armenia held a peaceful rally to express their support to the citizens of Jermuk and neighboring settlements who came out to fight against the exploitation of the Amulsar mine, who met with the Prime Minister at 26 Baghramyan Ave.

After the discussion at Baghramyan 26 ended, the citizens, disappointed with the process and results of the meeting with the Prime Minister, decided to hold a public debate on them in the park adjacent to the National Assembly. Their entrance at the park adjacent to the National Assembly was blocked by the police.

After waiting for at least 20 minutes, the citizens, having virtually no space for public discussions, were forced to exit into Baghramyan Avenue. However, their rally was halted by the use of brutal police force and the "spreading the citizens onto the asphalt", who were subsequently brought to the police station without legal grounds. As a result of the disproportionate force applied by the RA Police, there were casualties.

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the violation of the right of peaceful assembly by the RA Police.

We require:

1. To hold accountable all police officers who used violence against peaceful participants, harassed civilians and brought them to the police station.

2. To hold accountable those police officers who ordered to obstruct the peaceful assembly of citizens and to publicly report on the measures taken.

We demand that RA Police Chief Valery Osipyan make an official public report. If measures are not taken towards  the above mentioned persons, we demand the resignation of the RA Police Chief.

The statement is open to join. Those wishing to join should write to [email protected]

Translated by “EcoLur” Information NGO

Signatories

Transparency International Anticorruption Center
Protection of Rights without Borders
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor
Journalists' Club "Asparez"
Vanadzor Civic Youth Center
Armavir Civic Youth Center
Law Development and Protection Foundation
“EcoLur” Information NGO 
Human Rights and Conflicts Research Institute NGO
Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation
Centre for Community Mobilization and Support
Youth for Change NGO
Children's Society NGO
All Rights Foundation
Media Diversity Institute NGO
Open Society Foundations - Armenia
Helsinki Committee of Armenia NGO
“Helsinki Association” human rights NGO
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Armenian Committee NGO
Regional Studies Center
"Women in Black, Armenia" Peacebuilding  Initiative   
Human Capital Development Regional Center
Eurasia Partnership Foundation 
Human Rights House Yerevan
“Progress of Gyumri” NGO Civil Society Development Center
Women for Democracy NGO
Women's Resource Center
Democracy Today NGO
Human Rights Power NGO
Veles Human Rights NGO
Armash Village Community Support and Development Center NGO
Youth Vanguard NGO
Success Lady youth NGO
“Consumers’ Consulting Center” (CCC) NGO
Sose Women's Issues NGO
“Araza” Benevolent NGO
Tech For Society NGO
''Confidence'' Health NGO 
Peace Dialogue NGO
“For Equal Rights” Educational Center NGO
"DiverCity" Social-Cultural. Humanitarian NGO                                    
Regina Temkina, doctor
Boris Temkin, citizen
Khoren Beglaryan, media expert
Stepan Baghdassarian, student
Anna Shahnazaryan, citizen
Lala Aslikyan, psychologist
Naira Khachikyan, TIAC member
Tatevik Harutyunyan, citizen
Armine Galstyan, citizen
Samvel Minasyan, war veteran
Gagik Ghazareh, director, producer
Lilit Hovhannisyan, citizen
Sos Avetisyan, citizen
Hasmik Aslanyan, citizen
Vartgez Gaspari, citizen
Gevorg Gilants, poet, translator