Requirement to prosecute protestors is based on the explanations of police officers12:35, July 11, 2017 | News, Own news | Freedom of Assembly and Association, Freedom of Information and Speech, Right to be free from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, Right to liberty and security
On July 7, 2017 the RA Administrative Court started trial examination of protester Vahram Petrosyan’s case.
V. Petrosyan took part in the assembly held in March 2016 before examination of the motion on extending Gevorg Safaryan’s detention. Like other assembly participants, he was apprehended by physical force and taken to Kentron Division of the RA Police Yerevan City Department where they faced administrative proceedings.
The police demands prosecuting him under Article 180.1(11 and 15) of the RA Code of Administrative Offences. And V. Petrosyan and his representative T. Siradeghyan, lawyer at Yerevan office of HCA Vanadzor, demand by a counterclaim to declare unlawful the RA Police actions of dispersing the assembly, arresting him and using physical force.
At the court hearing, the parties made opening speeches.
Police representative S. Melikyan expressed a position that the persons who held an assembly on March 24, 2016 on M. Mashtots Avenue breached the normal course of the assembly and did not obey the order to stop their actions and asked to grant the claim.
In response to T. Siradeghyan’s question on the evidence proving that any order was issued to V. Petrosyan, S. Melikyan mentioned that there was no such evidence, except for the explanations of the police officers.
And the Court asked which was the assembly participant’s duty not performed by V. Petrosyan and what were the police officer’s orders prescribed by law. S. Melikyan noted that V. Petrosyan did not perform the duty to refrain from actions obstructing the normal course of the assembly and mentioned the RA Law on Freedom of Assembly with its Article 30 setting out the duties of the assembly participants.
The defendant party presented its objections to the claim. T. Siradeghyan mentioned that there were no proper records on violation of any rights of Article 180.1(11) of the RA Code of Administrative Offences and the records filed to the case do not contain the essence of the violation, and therefore irrespective of the fact of committing the action, V. Petrosyan might not face administrative liability. Then she provided grounds on the absence in V. Petrosyan’s action of any violations of Article 180.1(11 and 15) of the RA Code of Administrative Offences by noting that V. Petrosyan took no actions to obstruct the normal course of the assembly and no orders were issued to him and therefore he was under no duty to obey any. The defendant’s representative asked the Court to reject the claim.
T. Siradeghyan also presented the arguments of the counter-claim and provided grounds for the police actions of using physical force, violating the arrest procedure, dispersing the assembly without any grounds and violating Vahram Petrosyan’s rights.
The police representative asked questions to the counter-plaintiff and the court hearing was postponed then.
At the next hearing, the Court will examine the video in the case. It was scheduled for September 8, 2017, at 11:30 am.