Statements

Helsinki Association Statement on Cases of Torture and Inactivity of Prosecution

Recently “Helsinki Association” Human Rights Defender NGO has made statements about the illegal acts taking place in the Prosecutor’s Office of RA.

It’s worth to mention that the Prosecutor’s Office of RA has chosen the variant of completely illegal work style in dealing with the murder of Levon Gulyan. Particularly, the Prosecutor’s Office of Yerevan, which has taken the murder case of L. Gulyan to its proceedings, refused to cooperate with the injured party. Thus, nearly all the motions of the assignees of the injured party and those of their representatives were rejected. Moreover, the Prosecutor’s Office of Yerevan tries to exert pressure on Mikael Danielyan, the representative of the assignee of the injured party and the chairman of Helsinki Association.

A huge wave of illegalities has arisen in Vanadzor, where dozens of people were brought to the police station by the law enforcement bodies of RA within the scope of the investigation of murder of A. Ghazaryan, the prosecutor of Lori region (in the end of August). Those people were illegally deprived of liberty, there were also cases of torture. Helsinki Association controls/observes the process of this case and later will make statements about the above mentioned  illegal acts.

We also have to state that the situation in the army is quite alarming. Grave crimes, cases of violent deaths and suicides of soldiers has recently increased a lot and the criminal actions of military prosecution contributes to it, when the committed crimes are incorrectly legally classified: the murders are represented as suicides or manslaughters. The investigation agency does not take any steps to reveal the reasons of such crimes or to erase them.

Helsinki Association considers that the Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for all this, as it has gone astray from its main function of maintaining legality.  

HELSINKI ASSOCIATION
11.09.2007

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Letters and Statements In Defense of A. Hakobyan

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Letter of Helsinki Association

To:  Secretary General of the Council of Europe
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Members of the Bureau, Standing and Monitoring Committees of the PACE
CoE High Commissioner for Human Rights

 

The “Helsinki Association” would like once again to draw your attention to the urgent problems that continue to influence negatively the overall Human Rights situation in Armenia. 
 
After 2008 Presidential elections and the shooting of peaceful demonstrators it the most urgent demands of the entire International Community, reflected particularly in the relevant PACE resolutions, was the credible, independent investigation on the exact circumstances that led to the said events of 1 March, including the killing of 10 persons, and the demand to release the persons detained on artificial and politically motivated charges

The “Helsinki Association” testifies that after two and half years of promises and different kinds of imitations of the willingness to investigate the exact circumstances of the said events and thus to restore justice, no tangible progress has been achieved in holding to account those who are responsible particularly for the murder of those ten innocent victims, no actual perpetrators of the crime were held to account. Furthermore, the Armenian authorities are repeatedly rejecting the demands of the legal successors of 10 victims to investigate and reveal the killers of their relatives, a number of political prisoners remain in jails and the repressions of political opposition are still going on. The situation and conditions for the prisoners in the penitentiaries while not corresponding to any European standards remain the same. Tortures in police stations and in the army lead to death cases and are not discovered which has become a norm. The courts, implementing the orders of prosecution and authorities don’t carry out justice.

The “Helsinki Association” emphasizes that unpunished violations stimulate the sense of impunity and contribute to their recurrence and believes that the restoration of the rule of law and the protection of human rights anywhere, including Armenia are impossible without the disclosure of the real facts relating to Human Rights violations and without the punishment of those guilty in that violations.  

In the view of the above-mentioned the “Helsinki Association” demands that the PACE Monitoring Committee’s co-reporters in regard of Armenia visit Yerevan as soon as possible and explore thoroughly the compliance of Armenia with its Council of Europe obligations. This is a necessary and well delayed step that would enable the Assembly to include the issue of the functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia on its next session Agenda and will remind to Armenian authorities the seriousness of Monitoring procedure.

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Helsinki Association Statement on Beatings of Arsen Kharatyan

On 28 May an activist of youth oppositional movement “Hima” (Now) and “Sksela” (It Has Started) Arsen Kharatyan was brutally beaten in Yerevan. The Armenian authorities which are reluctant to investigate the offences occurred during the presidential election and dispersal of peaceful demonstrations, commit new outrages and pursue a policy of the dictate of force.

The demands of the international community to carry out democratic changes in the country and to conduct an impartial investigation into the crimes as provided for in the PACE Resolution 1609 are neglected. Ordered trials into the cases of representatives of the opposition and made-up and unproven charges brought against them are still underway. Harassment of the General Prosecution directed against the Ombudsman of Armenina A. Harutyunyan is nothing but a pressure on any manifestation of dissent opinion. There is no place in the civilized world for a country which has more than a hundred of political prisoners.

Once more does the Helsinki Association apply to the world community with a necessity to exert pressure on the authorities of Armenia in order for the latter to conduct immediate democratic changes and live up to all obligations taken before the world community.  


HELSINKI ASSOCIATION
Yerevan, 05.29.2008

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Helsinki Association Statement on 19 February 2008 Presidential Elections and Post-Election Events.

Helsinki Association, having observed the 19 February 2008 presidential elections in Armenia and following closely the post-election period, states that the past elections did not correspond to democratic standards.

Ballot-stuffing, intimidation of voters, assaults on media representatives, the presence of local “criminals” at polling-stations as members of commissions, proxies or observers, vote-count fraud could not but affect the election returns. All this reasonably prompted counteraction on part of the opposition which took the form of peaceful demonstrations.  

In the early morning of 1 March, upon an order of R. Kocharyan, a special police operation was carried out aimed solely at dispersal by force of a peaceful assembly of the opposition on Liberty Square.  Later in the day the opposition rallied for a peaceful action of protest at Myasnikya monument, but once again the crowd was dispersed with an excessive force resulting in casualties.  

Helsinki Association states with full responsibility that the Armenian authorities bear the whole blame for what happened.

Helsinki Association finds it as its duty to appeal to international organizations with the following requests:

•    Not to recognize the results of the 19 February 2008 presidential elections;
•    To demand that the President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, immediately cancel the emergency rule in Yerevan declared on 1 March 2008;
•    To demand that all political prisoners currently in jail in Armenia be released;
•    To demand that the Armenian authorities conduct an impartial and full investigation with an involvement of international experts into the use of excessive force against the protesters resulting in casualties.
•    To suspend both the membership of Armenia in international organizations including the Council of Europe and all economic and financial aid programs for Armenia, until it fully observes the undertaken international democratic and human rights standards.   


HELSINKI ASSOCIATION
Yerevan, 03.11.2008

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