Statement by Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia (Ombudsman)
On 14.10.2008, following an alarm-complaint for the urgent attention of the RA Human Rights Defender, the quick response group of HRDO, based on the instructions of the Defender, set off for Yerevan streets (Tumanyan - Mashtots crossroad), where the Police officers prevented the procession of opposition activists announcing the forthcoming permitted demonstration that will take place on 17.10.08.
At the time when the representatives of the HRDO reached the crossroad there were about 50 people gathered. They intended to make a procession assuming that there is no beforehand permission required. The Police, however, persistently prevented them from making procession; moreover, the organizers of the procession informed the HRDO representatives that Police officers in civil clothes at first took the megaphone out of their hands and then pushed people making them to leave the place.
Soon afterwards the Police permitted to make a procession, but then forbade using microphone, which is not required by the RA legislation. As a result a bigger crowd formed; people insisted on continuing the procession. The Police officers pushed them and made them walk towards Northern Avenue; at the same time the representatives of HRDO quick response group noticed that Police officers took away the second megaphone.
All the information mentioned above is fully recorded by the representatives of the Human Rights Defender’s Institution and consequently its reality can not be put under suspicion. Thus Human Rights Defender Dr. Armen Harutyunyan calls upon the Police to act in accordance with the RA Constitution and the RA legislation and stop restrictions of the constitutional rights of the RA citizens.