Police should be a supportive body and not a force dismissing peaceful protestors: A discussion about the right of civil disobedience15:16, January 22, 2015 | News, Own news | Right to an Effective Remedy of Legal Protection, Right to Fair Trial, Right to liberty and security, Right to Respect for Private and Family Life | Police, Political Prisoners, Shant Harutyunyan
On November 5, a year ago, Shant Harutyunyan and a number of his supporters moved from the Freedom Square to the Presidential Residence wearing Guy Fox masks but due to the clashes with the Police on Mashtots avenue they were arrested and sentenced to 6 years in prison.
AvetisAvetisyan, Liparit Petrosyan, Armen Hovhannisyan, Vardan Vardanyan, Misak Arakelyan, Albert Margaryan, Anushavan Grigoryan, Mkrtich Hovhannisyan, Vahe Mkrtchyan, Hayk Haurtyunyan, Tigran Petrosyan, Alek Poghosyan and Sevak Mnatsakanyan were arrested with him, people who according to the Court’s decision were sentenced to various penalty measurement imprisonments on October 17, 2014.
A year later after these events, HCA Vanadzor initiated a gathering of a group of civil activists in “Ani Plaza” Hotel to try to prove that Shant and his supporters have a right of civil disobedience.
AnahitChilingaryan the coordinator of Legal Analysis and initiatives of HCA Vanadzor presented a number of examples from global experience showing how and in which countries the civil disobedience has manifested or what achievements it had. HCA Vanadzor president Arthur Sakunts expressed an opinion that “I am strongly confident that we are not going to have only one or two cases of civil disobedience case campaigns. Starting from January 1, the issue will be even more urgent when we engage in a new political environment, which does not show better attitude towards civil disobedience than the European countries do.”
During the discussion there was a screening of Gayane Arustamyan’s documentary video-reportage called “Shant”. Before the screening she said: “Watching the short scenes of the video I recall not the process of disobedience but the snore organized by the authorities and police which was way better-organized than the disobedience campaign itself. I fixed a face he is an investigator in Nork-Marash police department. During the pre-election processes in 2012, when my group stepped in Malatia-Sebastiay to support Nicole Pashinyan and we got caught in the middle of the snore that same face was there too. And when we see in the scenes that Shant talks on the speaker I saw his face standing behind Shant. I had an impression that a second circle surrounded Shant’s campaign. These faces are seen those led to Shant’s situation. From all the scenes you can perfectly see how they provoke Shant. The whole process is followed with provocation.”
Speaches were given also by Shant Harutyunyan’s lawyer Inesa Petrosyan and Head of Violation Prevention Department of Ombudsmen Office Eranuhi Tumanyan. Eranuhi Tumanyan mentioned: “actions of the police in many cases are highly problematic and debatable. The Police should be a supportive body and not a force dismissing peaceful protests.”