Monday, 3 May 2010

Armenia police chief Alik Sargsyan’s esprit de corps

Although RFE/RL presents his statement as “unprecedented public apology”, I am afraid, I can’t see “sorry” here. Armenia police chief Alik Sargsyan simply uses this no-sorry-but-let-me-make-an-impression-of-being-sorry statement, yes, to make an impression and damage limitation to his career. Too late for “sorry”, Mr. Alik Sargsyan. Way too late. Especially when it is NOT “sorry”. And btw, where is his “sorry” and condolences to Khalafyan’s family?

He misguided public in what looks like an attempt at cover up the alleged murder in a police department by portraying it as a “suicide case” and adamantly denying any violence or torture from the police side. However, few days ago, this ‘idyllic’ picture of the “purest” police force in the world got crashed when the head of the criminal investigations unit has been charged with using violence against Khalafyan.

I do agree with the human rights activist Artur Sakunts who argues that police chief should at the very least resign in such circumstances. I disagree with a senior member of the ruling Republican party that his position would be untenable if another similar incident happens. Do we need more deaths to act?

It’s not that violence could not happen in police. It must not, but in real life you can’t be guaranteed from such incidents even in the most democratic countries. It’s an attempt at cover up the incident and protect the esprit de corps (‘честь мундира’) that is inexcusable.

There is now a special page set up by some activists in Armenian sector of Facebook demanding resignation of Alik Sargsyan. Last time I checked, it had more than 500 supporters.

While the title of that page may be considered a bit rude, frankly, that’s not important right now. The essence is clear. Violence and brutalities in Armenian police departments must stop. All responsible for human rights abuses must be held accountable before the law. Armenia police chief must go.


tzitzernak2 said...

Facebook group is up to 640 ;)

artmika said...

The creator(s) of that Facebook group, citing "safety reasons", today announced that the group will be shut down: "Էջը ջնջում ենք՝ անվտանգության նկատառումներից ելնելով։ Շնորհակալություն բոլորին մասնակցության համար։" At the time of the announcement, FB page had 966 supporters.