YPC Weekly Newsletter

2013


CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS INSTITUTED UPON CASE OF CIVIC ACTIVISTS

On September 14, Kentron Police Department of Yerevan instituted criminal proceedings over the attack against civic activists – Haykak Arshamian, Project Coordinator of Yerevan Press Club, and Suren Saghatelian, Board member of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, on charges of Articles 113 (“Infliction of willful medium-gravity damage to health”) and 118 (“Battery”) of the RA Criminal Code.

As we have reported, in the evening of September 5, Haykak Arshamian and Suren Saghatelian were brutally beaten up by a group of unknown men. The two activists were hospitalized with bruises and fractures. On September 10 – only on the fifth day following the assault – Haykak Arshamian and Suren Saghatelian underwent forensic examination.

In the September 6 statement, dozens of civil society organizations assessed the incident as intimidation against NGOs, independent media, public figures and active citizens, who raise voice of protest against the Armenian authorities. The statement signatories urged “the civil society and all the free citizens to remain strong, not to retreat before the hired thugs and their patrons, to continue the struggle for their personal rights and freedoms”. Statements, condemning the incident, were also made by some international organizations, including the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks, the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and the Amnesty International (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 6-12, 2013).  

On September 13, the EU Delegation to Armenia urged the Armenian authorities to "take up immediate and firm steps to make the perpetrators accountable without delay", and recalled that “respecting democratic principles and fundamental human rights and freedoms are still major elements of EU-Armenia bilateral agenda”.