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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Video evidence from 1 March in Yerevan: Allegedly police car run protester over

Another video evidence from 1 March in Yerevan. Another need for independent inquiry. Video shows how allegedly police car run one protester over on Paronyan street in central Yerevan. Video via A1+

33 comments:

nazarian said...

Allegedly? The car accelerated in order to hit that person in front of it.

artmika said...

I did not mean that, not in that context. I put "allegedly" because I am not sure whether this car belongs to police or not; "allegedly" it belongs.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Can't see the video coz my XP partition doesn't have Flash installed or whatever. However, just one point and this is the most important of all, I think.

There needs to be an independent inquiry fullstop. It's the why things should be done and must be done. I'd also personally like to see CE representatives from outside Armenia involved as well.

Onnik Krikorian said...

It's the WAY, sorry.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Ok, now seen it. Do we know what happened to the protester? Looks a bad incident.

Not sure if its police. Hard to tell, although what is it that the car is towing? That would answer the question.

Anyway, regardless, an independent inquiry must be held. No question about that, and actually, it's not even a matter which should be up for debate.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Talking of which, as long as it can be politically neutral, i.e. please, no rhetoric siding with the opposition, how about an online petition?

Something along the lines of "We the undersigned respectfully believe that an independent inquiry must be held in order to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the 1 March clashes that left at least eight dead and which led to a state of emergency being declared in Yerevan.

In order for the inquiry to gain the full trust of society, we the undersigned also request that the international community ensure maximum oversight and transparency so that the precise circumstances and events are accepted by all."

If one exists already -- and as I said, as long as it isn't politically loaded -- I'll sign and I'm sure many others will as well. And on both sides of the political divide as well as in between.

yervand said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reflective said...

tel us what you realy think, yervnad. elokwent.

yervand said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
yervand said...

BRAVO ADMINISTRATOR! KEEP DELETING MY COMMENTS!

THERE YOU GO THATS WHAT YOU WANT!!!

let the cinism to blow up your blog!

nazarian said...

The trailer that the vehicle is towing is a device/storage unit for barbed wire.

artmika said...

My apologies to Onnik for Yervand comments. I am not at home right now and removed comments as soon as noticed. To avoid similar situations in future, from now on all comments in this blog are put on moderation and will appear only after approval by blog administrator. Thank you for your understanding!

michael said...

i agree with what most people are saying. You can't tell if its a police car or not. If it was my opinion i would say its not a police car because where are the police lights. Ive seen the police cars in Armenia and you can tell the difference between a police car and a normal car.

artmika said...

Michael, police use not only “traditional” cars, they have other vehicles too. Besides, it may belong to the National Security Service, army, “agent provocateur”… I guess, Nazarian’s comment may provide a clue.

In any case, that’s exactly the reason why we should demand independent inquiry, as no one will trust the investigation conducted by merely the Prosecutor General office. Only independent investigation will allow us to identify those who are responsible for this apparent crime.

Unfortunately, I do not know what happened to that protester; it should be a miracle if he managed to survive…

Onnik, I agree with the text of your proposed petition. However, to be honest, I kind of lost my faith in petitions. I think they could be effective if there is similar to the UK system when government responds to all petitions submitted. But if you or anyone else decide to submit it, should be OK, I suppose, it’s better than nothing.

yervand said...

yes michael you are right it was not a police car it was another drunk demonstartor killing his friends!!!

police never ever killed any innocent demonstator! police of armenia is the most human police in the world! Probably you know this cz you have seen a police car in yerevan!

and in general all this demonstators are terrorists and our goverment is just the perfection and the most democratic and human goverment in the world!

yervand said...

one questions to all smart and democracy loving people including artmika innik krkorian and others

WHERE IS THE OFFICIAL REPORT BOUT THIS HOMICIDE??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ACCIDENT IN GENERAL!???????????

THIS is AN OBVIOUS EXAMPLE AND PROOF OF THE FACT THAT THERE WERE MORE VICTIMS ON MARCH FIRST THAN THE OFFICIAL 8. THE FACT THAT THE GOVERMENT DURING THE 20 DAYS WAS telling people OBVIOUS LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

artmika said...

I have not seen or read one. That is exactly one of the reasons that I immediately posted this video, and like you, demand answers.

Onnik Krikorian said...

The trailer that the vehicle is towing is a device/storage unit for barbed wire.

In 2003 I remember them being triangular in shape. However, I can't think of what else it could be so it's possible although the color and type of the car is a bit weird. Nevertheless, your suggestion is very possible as I can't think what else it could be.

WHERE IS THE OFFICIAL REPORT BOUT THIS HOMICIDE??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Firstly, we don't know if it was a fatality, but assuming that it was, this could be one of the seven dead as (officially at least) four died from gunshot wounds whereas three died from "special means" (whatever that is).

I've also made a point of writing most of the time at least eight killed because until an independent inquiry it's possible that there could be others we don't know about. Maybe not, but I won't rule it out until then.

However, you ask where the official report is about this incident, well, assuming that it isn't one of the three who died in other ways, I haven't heard the opposition name the victim or deal with this case.

What is interesting is that if the death toll is higher, why isn't the opposition media publishing figures and names? One government source also alleges some soldiers died of wounds in hospital, incidentally, but that the MoD don't want that coming out.

However, I find that somehow implausible as the logic of such a cover-up is unlikely (something to do with conscript families). Anyway, if the question of why the government isn't saying there were more deaths is being asked, I would also ask the same of the opposition and its media.

As I've said, we really need an independent inquiry with proper oversight and transparency and there is no other alternative. Whatever the results of such an inquiry, we really need to know.

proudly anonymous said...

The white nivas are usually the PN (Defense Ministry)cars, but one obviously can't say for sure.

An independent inquiry into all of this sounds like a novel idea, but I think it is impossible given the circumstances. With one laughable theory or explanation after another, the General Prosecutor's Office has lost all credibility; all we are left with is speculation...

Onnik, I've wondered the same about why the opposition media hasn't come up with more than that 8 figure but I have to wonder if people are just too afraid to talk? Seems far-fetched but could be a possibility.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Independent inquiry all the way. The Prosecutor General is vulnerable to Kocharian, and the special group they have set up is made up of cronies.

Whatever kind of car is seen in the video running over the pedestrian, it surely can't be a civilian car, because in the beginning of the clip it is seen blocking the road with two other cars to its sides.

Why would three civilians decide to drive their cars to a protest and park them in a file on the street? Why would one of these civilians be driving a truck, and the other towing barbed wire, or anything else? Why would the protesters follow the truck as it pulls out, as they are shown doing?

I'd speculate that all three cars were there as a police action, to block the road, but they were over-run by demonstrators, relayed this to HQ, who in turn ordered them to move to another location. The truck moved first, then the car. They were filing out.

Also, obviously whoever was driving the car had an enormous amount of hostility toward the demonstrators--he ran one over. That kind of hostility isn't civilian hostility.

For those reasons, I think they really were police.

And an independent investigation is in order.

Hambik said...

Glad to see at least most people here are approaching the situation logically. An independent investigation does seem like the best way to resolve all the discrepancies in the figures and incidents. With regards to what Proudly Anonymous said about the opposition being afraid to release information about the other victims, I wouldn't think that is the case, as they have been publishing pretty much anything they hear or can find. One would think that with all the video evidence floating around, some bodies or some definitive proof would have surfaced showing more than 8 fatalities.

Hambik said...

And with regards to Armen's comments, there is other video evidence of protesters torching or destroying cars of other civilians, in particular high priced cars like Benz's in thinking these people are against them. So I wouldn't rule out civilians being in those cars and being surrounded by protesters.

proudly anonymous said...

hambik,
I didn't mean that the opposition was afraid, I meant the families who lost their loved ones might be afraid to speak out in direct contradiction with the "official line". And if they don't want to release their names, it would be pretty meaningless for the opposition to release their stories since they could easily be called into question. Like I said, it's far-fetched, but it's a possibility.

Back to the video. Too add to the observations, I don't know if a civilian would do this, it takes a very special kind of sense of impunity, and a great confidence in the fact that you won't be held accountable to do that in front of that many witnesses.

But again, none of us know for sure. If this was in a civilized country, the witnesses would come forward and we wouldn't have such a mystery...

nazarian said...

hambig, torching a police car and stealing a police car and running a fellow protester over are very different things. You probably don't realize how much animosity, dislike and even hatred there is between the police/KGB/prosecution/courts and the civilian population in Armenia. And this is not a new thing - has been there since the Soviet times and maybe even the tsarist era.

The power structures have always put the civilians down. Now this dislike has become even worse after we saw them kill so many people.

Onnik Krikorian said...

An independent inquiry into all of this sounds like a novel idea, but I think it is impossible given the circumstances. With one laughable theory or explanation after another, the General Prosecutor's Office has lost all credibility; all we are left with is speculation...

Well, your point about the prosecutor's office (and I'd also add parliament and any other government agency) is true which is why an independent inquiry is the only option. However, your first point is that there also needs to be maximum oversight and transparency and I personally believe it should be monitored by European officials as well, especially as its conduct is a PACE and AGO recommendation.

Basically, it's either a government or parliamentary-conducted inquiry, or an independent one. However, the format of that is one that needs to be determined by all parties.

Onnik, I've wondered the same about why the opposition media hasn't come up with more than that 8 figure but I have to wonder if people are just too afraid to talk? Seems far-fetched but could be a possibility.

Well, when I mention opposition I mean people such as Ter-Petrossian, Pashinian etc, and not your average opposition supporter. Basically, I don't see much concern from people such as Pashinian et al or from the opposition media. Anyway, I'd consider that until alleged otherwise or an inquiry is held, its possible this incident is already among the casualty figures.

However, please note that I said "possible" and not "definite."

Anonymous said...

I guess it's the same car on A1plus's Oragir part5 video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbZmpJmKmZg&NR=1, around 1.57 and 2.30 min.

yervand said...

one question to all:

why the PM from zarangutyun were not allowed to enter the morgues where the corpses were kept after march 1st to be able to estimate the real number of victims???!!

remember also that those buildings were protected by military forces!

thank you

Hambik said...

We can spend weeks disputing numbers and these videos and will not come to a conclusion because it is all based on speculation. I realize my comments above seem like I would be protecting the police, but I want to make clear that I did not mean to imply that that car was not a police officer, it certainly could have been.
The cry for an independent investigation seems to be the common theme and most people agree it will resolve much of the conflict and disputed evidence.
However, lets not forget how the opposition officials have ignored the assessments of the election by the foreign observers and the recognition of the election by major foreign countries. So I wonder what reaction A1+ and opposition figures will have if indeed an independent committee declares that the figures given by the government were fairly accurate. I am not saying that an investigation will come to that conclusion, but its hard to believe that if the findings are not in line with what the opposition wants, that they wont just continue to protest and claim the results are false. Just giving this scenario as a possibility for you to consider because I don't think its unfathomable.

artmika said...

*via Armenia Today

''Наездная тема'' или очередные потуги Генпрокуратуры Армении

Генпрокуратура Армении разродилась очередным потоком бурной фантазии. Так, согласно последним заявлениям, как ни силилась Генпрокуратура Армении, а доказательств наезда полицейской автомашины на участников акции 1 марта не нашла. Следующим заявлением сего «правоохранительного» органа, должно стать умозаключение о том, что наезд машины полицая - плод массовой галлюцинации, имевшей место в результате распространяемых посредством громкоговорителя кодовых воплей Никола Пашиняна.

Ну а пока, Генпрокуратура ограничилась лишь заявлением о том, что согласно данным органа предварительного следствия, в числе граждан, обратившихся за медицинской помощью 1 и 2 марта, не было пострадавших от наезда автомашины в окрестностях мэрии Еревана (!). «Тем не менее, некоторые СМИ продолжают выступать с утверждениями о предполагаемом наезде без указания конкретных фактов, дезинформируя и дезориентируя общественность», - отмечает Генпрокуратура, не упоминая о многочисленных видеокадрах о фактах наезда.( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovRNo_6BpJk). Тема наездов 1 марта получила странную реакцию со стороны правоохранителей. К примеру, по одному из наездов в качестве свидетеля был вызван депутат парламент Степан Сафарян (фракция «Наследие»), а потом Генпрокуратура распространила информацию о том, будто теперь депутат уверяет, что не видел факта наезда и отказывается от своих предыдущих заявлений. И как бедняга теперь не тужится, однако переубедить общественность в лживости заявлений генпрокуратуры не может. Таким образом, генпрокуратура пытается выставить всех идиотами, лишь для того, чтобы сокрыть самодурство одного полуграмотного полицая.

В заявлении Генпрокуратуры есть также данные о численности пострадавших. Без учета граждан обратившихся в частные клиники, общее количество пострадавших гражданских лиц составило всего 55 человек, а правоохранителей 210. При этом, если в случае правоохранителей Генпрокуратура представляет детальную информацию - 134 получили осколочные и огнестрельные ранения, 10 отравились газами, 6 получили травмы, то в случае с гражданскими упоминается лишь численность получивших огнестрельные ранения (15 человек), видимо, демонстрируя любовь и заботу о гражданских лицах. При этом, подчеркивается, что 14 человек «самовольно покинули больницы, оставив фальшивые данные о себе и месте проживания». При этом забывают отмечать, что только по официальным данным четверо граждан погибли, только лишь «благодаря» применению правоохранительными органами спецсредств и прочие «мелкие» подробности.

reflective said...

Easy, Hambik - The radical opposition will just say that the investigators were bought off.

Facts do not matter to the opposition. Statements opining that these were the best elections in 17 years by international observers, or that the Gallup exit polls matched closely with the vote count don't matter.

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

If people don't like the quality of the process, they need to work hard, develop leaders, cultivate a following around something positive, and struggle (in uneven conditions) and be persistent.

Instead, we got lazy dancing and singing after a few weeks of a non-campaign led by a recycled has-been discredited failure who gathered around him a few criminal chameleons.

The opposition needs to start working now for parliamentary elections in 4 years, not wait until 3 months before presidential ones (after ignoring parliament, like LTP did) to declare victory just because the authorities are better thieves than they were when they sucked the country dry for 7 years in the 90s.

Anonymous said...

However, lets not forget how the opposition officials have ignored the assessments of the election by the foreign observers and the recognition of the election by major foreign countries. So I wonder what reaction A1+ and opposition figures will have if indeed an independent committee declares that the figures given by the government were fairly accurate. I am not saying that an investigation will come to that conclusion, but its hard to believe that if the findings are not in line with what the opposition wants, that they wont just continue to protest and claim the results are false. Just giving this scenario as a possibility for you to consider because I don't think its unfathomable.

Have you read the OSCE interim report? It is damning the Armenian government’s conduct pre as well during the presidential elections, and yet holds the diplomatic wording that is expected from the international community. Can tell you to f-off or have the same meaning by telling you to bug off. Wording does not change the fact I told you to go away.

So let us look at this in a practical way, an independent investigation will prove or disprove many things. So why is it not wanted by the Armenian government? Why do they insist that an independent investigation will harm national security?
Also if the so called leaders of the so called attempt at a coup are all in jail, or under investigation, who are the authorities scared off to restrict peaceful assembly? Are they scared of the majority who supposedly voted for their candidate? The argument of the authorities is idiotic, but what is worse is the argument made by those who support them in the blogs.

Ok so I am the first to admit, the LTP coalition had/has many faults. LTP was if at the very least consenting to vote rigging during his tenure as president. Some of those who stood by LTP should be in jail for their crimes during the past 15 years (not for their actions in the post election period). But to do so by the government would not only extend to the type of hypocrisy that exist in the government, but would also put into question the arguments on who was aware and why it was conducted in a court of law.

But given with all that we know about them and LTP, the people still chose that team over Kocharian and Serj. Doesn’t that tell you something? I am not saying that LTP got majority, but neither did Serj. The majority of the people voted for the three opposition candidates. Does that not tell you something about the current regime?

reflective said...

But given with all that we know about them and LTP, the people still chose that team over Kocharian and Serj. Doesn’t that tell you something? I am not saying that LTP got majority, but neither did Serj. The majority of the people voted for the three opposition candidates. Does that not tell you something about the current regime?

I don't follow your logic.

First of all, there is NO evidence that the people chose LTp's team over the authorities. Second, to lump the opposition all together doesn't make sense. It is not at all clear that any of the opposition forces would have joined LTP against Serj had there been a second round. There is some reason to believe the opposite. Of course we'll never know as there was no second round.

I think it is clear that the level of dissatisfaction with the authorities is high in society. For example out of about 281 Million people in the US in 2000, 50.5 Million voted for George Bush (in contrast with 51.0 Million who voted for Gore), but narrowly won the electoral vote. What does that tell YOU about elections? About the level of dissatisfaction in US society?

artmika said...

Breaking news: victim of police car run over has been identified, case is under formal investigation now. The power of Internet!