Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office, and Journalists’ Club “Asparez” made a statement, which condemns the violence against the citizens of Jermuk and neighboring settlements, which came out on August 19 in the fight against Amulsar mine development.
“In 2019 on August 19, 2018 for the first time in the aftermath of the revolution, serious and widespread violations of freedom of assembly took place in the Republic of Armenia, requiring the leadership of the country to assess and review current practice.
On August 19, 2019 the citizens of the Republic of Armenia held a peaceful rally to express their support to the citizens of Jermuk and neighboring settlements who came out to fight against the exploitation of the Amulsar mine, who met with the Prime Minister at 26 Baghramyan Ave.
After the discussion at Baghramyan 26 ended, the citizens, disappointed with the process and results of the meeting with the Prime Minister, decided to hold a public debate on them in the park adjacent to the National Assembly. Their entrance at the park adjacent to the National Assembly was blocked by the police.
After waiting for at least 20 minutes, the citizens, having virtually no space for public discussions, were forced to exit into Baghramyan Avenue. However, their rally was halted by the use of brutal police force and the "spreading the citizens onto the asphalt", who were subsequently brought to the police station without legal grounds. As a result of the disproportionate force applied by the RA Police, there were casualties.
We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the violation of the right of peaceful assembly by the RA Police.
1. To hold accountable all police officers who used violence against peaceful participants, harassed civilians and brought them to the police station.
2. To hold accountable those police officers who ordered to obstruct the peaceful assembly of citizens and to publicly report on the measures taken.
We demand that RA Police Chief Valery Osipyan make an official public report. If measures are not taken towards the above mentioned persons, we demand the resignation of the RA Police Chief.
The announcement is open to join. Those wishing to join should write to [email protected]," the statement said.
“EcoLur” Information NGO is also joining the announcement.
14:19 August 20, 2019