“Neutralizing via a sniper might have aimed at hiding traces of possible crimes.” Human rights activist15:42, September 5, 2017 | News, Other news | Police
The operation to neutralizezation and kill a person via a sniper proved that the RA police don’t work professionally. The remark was made by human rights activist Zhanna Aleksanyan n her interview with “Medialab”, regarding the incident that took place on August 29 in Erebuni administrative district.
“The Police have acted in the atmosphere of permissibility and have let themselves loose for such a long time, that they lack professionalism. It is a shame that they make the public a witness to these actions. It reminds me of people participating in a «tamasha» (public show) in the Middle Ages when people were publicly tortured and punished. This was a medieval event”, Zhanna Aleksanyan told “Medialab”.
Remember that on August 29, Gor Hakobyan, 31, took hostage a woman, a resident of Nor Nork 9th district of Yerevan in “Weekend” non-operating billiards game zone located in Rostovian 15/6.
Holding the knife against the throat of the young woman in the presence of law enforcement officers who had come to the scene upon the alert of many citizens gathered near the game room the young man demanded 5 citizens and a lawyer otherwise threatening to kill the hostage. According to the Police and the Investigative Committee, the negotiations to release the woman did not have any result. The police carried out a special operation which resulted in gunshot injuries incompatible with life.
According to press reports, Gor Hakobyan was recently deported to Armenia from the US where he had been convicted of murder.
For years, the Armenian police have received contribution in millions of dollars from international organizations for implementation of reforms. But this incident showed that the police don’t work professionally.
“I didn’t have even a slightest doubt that the neutralization by the RA police would have fatal outcome whereas they could have acted professionally and not deprived the person of his life. We never see the police improved and ready to handle the situation. The role of the police in Armenia is only to influence on protests or political situations, to subject activists and journalists to violence. We can’t call it professionalism,” Zhanna Aleksanyan says. According to her, the problem is that none of the state structures, not even the office of the Ombudsman, made a statement about it. No structure speaks about why it happened. “Eventually, the young man could be sick, it was a tragic event and we got involved in that tragedy. There is also no confidence that an objective investigation could be carried out to see what that young man wanted because he is not alive any more. And the public didn’t even get to know what had happened, what demands he had, and the media provide only fragmented information. The police had to release a statement about it. If that structure acted in front of people it should also be highly responsible before the public. And who should give explanations? You’ve brought a sniper, he shot the man dead. Doesn’t that sniper have other abilities; he could have shot the man in the leg or in the shoulder?” Zhanna Aleksanyan added.
According to Artur Sakunts, a human rights activist, if any law enforcement body acts only within the logic of the law, the Constitution and the human rights, its training, personnel and institutional reforms will be aimed at proper functioning in crisis and extreme situations in which they periodically appear. It means if these bodies stay free from acting according to imposed rules of political decisions, both their reform plan and training will be effective, as well as their armament will be directed to ensuring the proper quality to be able to work in such intense situations proportionately.
“In this case, the actions of the police showed that, first of all, basic security was not maintained. They took actions in a crowded area in the middle of the day. It was a complete irresponsibility towards people”, Artur Sakunts tells “Medialab”.
Second, according to him, there was a demonstration of power, which was not clear to people. This refers to the inadequacy of neutralizing a person with a sniper shot. And it is a perfect example for the people around and shows that the problems can be solved using firearms. And after that, fighting against solving problems by means of weapons or force is nonsense and illogical according to the human rights activist.
“Next, justifications that the negotiations allegedly didn’t give any results are just words. There is no circumstantial evidence to convince the public that they did exhaust all means of releasing the hostage. Moreover, the fact that the hostage had bruises proves that she had been under control of either that person or other people for a long time. And it means that the police are directly responsible for the situation, in which both the hostage and the hostage-taker were found. Why, because the person who committed the abovementioned crime was more than known to the police. And if not, it’s their omission, as according to some publications he was a person who had ties with the criminal world,” Sakunts says. According to him, all this gives a ground to assume that the sniper’s shot was premeditated. That is to say they didn’t give adequate importance to the negotiations to release the hostage through negotiations. “Moreover, the sniper’s shot that led to death shows that it had a punishing purpose. They could neutralize him in a way that would not kill him. And no one knows what the person would reveal in case he remained alive and it might result a situation where more serious questions would rise to be asked to the police. That is to say it aimed at hiding traces of possible crime,” Artur Sakunts added.