YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


HCA VANADZOR SUIT VERSUS RA POLICE REFUSED

On December 5 the court of primary jurisdiction of Center and Nork-Marash communities
of Yerevan announced a decision on the suit of Vanadzor Office of Helsinki Citizens
Assembly versus the RA Police. The reason for the suit was the refusal of the
Department of Internal Security of the RA Police to provide this human rights
organization with materials of the internal investigation, made on the fact
of police violence against several residents of Vanadzor city on March 26, 2007.
The inquiry of HCA Vanadzor Office was answered by the Prosecutor’s Office of
Lori region to the effect that as a result of internal investigation a Vanadzor
police officer received a disciplinary punishment. On August 9 the Vanadzor
Office demanded investigation materials from the Department of Internal Security
of the RA Police. The refusal of the police was justified by the argument that,
according to the Statutes of the Department, the information requested is a
document for internal use. The Vanadzor Office made a repeat inquiry, noting
that, in accordance with the RA Law “On Legal Acts”, the statutes of a police
subdivision is only a sublegal act, and hence in this case the RA Law “On Freedom
of Information” is applied, by which the materials of internal investigations
are open documents. No reply was received to this inquiry, and the HCA Vanadzor
Office addressed the court. In the written response to the court the RA Police
explained its refusal by the fact that the RA Government has not established
a procedure for providing such information. On December 5 the court rejected
the demand of the human rights organization.