of the Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
on the Recent Developments in Armenia
30 July 2016
Serzh Sargsyan, President, Republic of Armenia
Galust Sahakyan, President of the National Assembly, Republic of Armenia
Vladimir Gasparyan, Chief of RA Police
Gevorg Kostanyan, Prosecutor General of Republic of Armenia
Arman Tatoyan, Ombudsman of Republic of Armenia
We deplore the arrest of our colleague Hovsep Khurshudyan, a respected member of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership’s Civil Society Forum, amidst the protests on the night of July 29/30, 2016 in Yerevan and demand his immediate release as well as that of all those who have been arrested by the police in recent days. The citizens of Armenia have every right to demonstrate in support of their views while police attacks on demonstrators risk further bloodshed.
This lessens the chances of the development of a dialogue between rulers and ruled which is the only way to resolve the present situation.
Brutal attacks by plain clothes policemen against media representatives who were performing their professional duty at the recent demonstrations should also be deplored as a violation of the principle of media freedom.
We appreciate the fact that another of our detained colleagues from the Civil Society Forum, Levon Barseghyan has already been released by the authorities in a gesture which suggests that a peaceful end to this present tense situation is possible.
We also recognise the present efforts of the Armenian Human Rights Ombudsman who is documenting the present human rights violations and the fact that the Prosecutor General’s office has opened inquiries into possible misdeeds by officials against media representatives and others.
Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
EaP CSF Armenian National Platform
on the arrest of ANP members
Yesterday on the 29th of July citizens participating in the peaceful protests in support of the group of rebels “Sasna Tsrer” were subjected to unprecedented violence resulting from the disproportionate use of force and unlawful actions of the police of the RA. Police with unprecedented brutality have attacked unarmed peaceful citizens, as well as many journalists.
According to official information 165 citizens have been detained without due justification, 26 persons were arrested among whom members of the Armenian National Platform of the EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, CSF Steering Committee member, head of “Free Citizen” NGO Hovsep Khurshudyan and head of “National Civic Initiative” NGO Davit Sanasaryan.
We, representatives of more than 220 EaP CSF Armenian National Platform member Civil Society Organizations demand from the authorities of the Republic of Armenia:
- To immediately release detained and arrested peaceful protesters
- To stop the unlawful acts of the police and violations of human rights
- To investigate the circumstances of disproportionate use of force by police, holding responsible those who ordered and those who implemented unlawful orders.