OMBUDSMAN ASKS POLICE TO ENSURE PROTECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
- Following yesterday's clashes in the candlelight ceremony outside the Harsnaqar restaurant, Ombudsman Karen Andreasyan has issued a statement, calling upon the police to ensure the protection of the citizens' constitutional rights.
The human rights defender says that his hotline service received an emergency call on the act of violence against rights activist Arman Veziryan, and the police attempts to use excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators.
"The sorrowful death of Vahe Avetyan and the brutal violence in Harsnaqar keeps upsetting the society. Many view the act of violence as a behavior stemming from unacceptable habits and a culture of violence. This belief pushes many citizens to continue the protest rallies not only in order to commemorate the deceased doctor but also to prevent future violence," reads the statement.
The ombudsman is hopeful that those guilty of the doctor's death will be punished, and the society and competent bodies will take proper measures to eliminate the mentality and culture giving birth to violence.
"Deeply respecting each citizen and civil group's right to express their opinion, and fight for their beliefs in a peaceful manner, I call upon the police to do everything possible to assist the citizens in exercising their constitutional rights, and [keep following the same rules] even in situations when the peaceful rallies cause inconvenience in terms of public and private rights. The peaceful nature of the rally applies also to a conduct that temporarily hampers or blocks the activities of third persons. In this respect, the temporary suspension of the traffic cannot serve as grounds for imposing restriction (European Court of Human Rights, Eva Molnar v. Hungary)," says the Ombudsman.
Activists gathered yesterday outside Harsnaqar for a candlelight vigil to commemorate Vahe Avetyan, the chief of the ENT Department of the Yerevan Garrison Hospital, who was beaten to death by the security guards at the restaurant on June 17. The severe beatings had left the doctor with a serious brain damage that created conditions incompatible with life. Avetyan died in hospital on June 29 after remaining unconscious for twelve days.
Following Avetyan's death, the owner of Harsnaqar, President of the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) Ruben Hayrapetyan, who represents the ruling Republican Party faction in the National Assembly, declared his intention to quit his seat in parliament. His move came amid public pressures urging for a fair punishment against the perpetrators.
- 1881 Dr. Levon Tigranyan starts publishing the "Health" monthly.
- 1902 Death of Arsen Aytnyan (armenologist). He was born in 1825.
- 1914 Death of sculptor Yervand Voskanian.
- 1936 Murder by the Soviet Police of Aghassi Khandjyan (First Secretary of the Central Committee of Armenia's Communist Party) in Tbilisi.
- 1937 Death of actor Hovhannes Zarifian.