Torture against Helsinki Association Human Rights Defender Arman Veziryan
On April 30th at 18:30 a man around 45 years old hit in the face of Helsinki Association representative Arman Veziryan. The incident took place near one of the houses on Sedrak Sargsyan street, at Shengavit district. On that day Armenian National Congress (ANC) opposition party representatives from the candidate Arshak Banuchyan’s election headquarter were dividing agitating leaflets and one of the activists put a leaflet in front of the entrance of a house. At that moment a man of about 45 years came out of the house and started shouting: ”Take this stuff and clear off”. The activist who had put the leaflet apologized. At that moment Arman Veziryan, the witness of all this, approached to take the leaflet. A. Veziryan was present there as a monitor and was following the electoral campaigning process. The man cursed Arman Veziryan, the latter answered him with the same. Afterwards the man struck Arman in the face for 2 times; Arman Veziryan did not strike back.
“Helsinki Association” human rights organization called to RA Police Hotline, no one answered the calls. Later on they contacted operative workgroup, where Helsinki Association representatives were informed that the incident will be reported to the Shengavit police department.
No one visited Arman Veziryan from the police office. Arman Veziryan by the invitation of the police officers visited police office together with “Helsinki Association Chairman Mikael Danielyan. Here the human right defenders had a conversation with Deputy of the Criminal Investigation Department Head Poghosyan, then with the Investigator A. Ghazaryan, the latter assigned A. Veziryan to pass a forensic medical examination. The Investigator received a crime statement from Veziryan. Arman Veziryan refused to give explanation telling that the next day he was going to come with Helsinki Association Lawyer Nina Karapetyants.
On May 1st Arman Veziryan together with Helsinki Association Lawyer Nina Karapetyants went to the expert of forensic medicine who recorded the facts on the injuries. The exclusion would be sent to the Investigator.
Arman Veziryan with Nina Karapetyan also visited the investigator with the aim to give a testimony on the incident. They were informed that the citizen who had struck A. Veziryan was already found. It was found out that the house from where the man came out was not his; it was the neighbor’s house. According to the words of the citizen, though he had spoken loudly with Arman, he did not strike him. In fact, the citizen struck in Arman’s face twice and the injuries were obvious. On the incident Helsinki Association Chairman Mikael Danielyan gave the following explanation:
“I am sure that during the electoral campaigning nothing will be changed and the same methods will be applied. Also I regret that so far not a single NGO, which is occupied with monitoring mission, observes seriously the process of electoral campaigning; they start the mission only on the day of election. Unfortunately, Arman’s presence here is misinterpreted; as if he while being a monitor, participated at the campaigning. But this is the monitor’s mission. If he observes the elections, he has to conduct monitoring not only on the day of election, but also during the previous and following processes of the elections”.