Human Rights Watch urges to investigate actions of Police in Baghramyan AvenueArmenia
The international organization Human Rights Watch called on the authorities to immediately open a thorough and impartial
investigation to determine whether the force used was lawful and proportionate, and if not, ensure accountability for those responsible for use of excessive force.
“Police in Armenia used force to disperse a largely peaceful protest on June 23, 2015, raising concerns about potential human rights
violations”,- says the statement of the Human Rights Watch, Armenpress reports.
The international organization demanded to investigate all allegations of beatings, unlawful destruction of journalists’ equipment, and arbitrary detention of journalists covering the protests. The investigation should also examine the circumstances in which water cannons were deployed, such as what warnings were given to protesters and operational instructions on targeting of water jets.
“Even if the Yerevan demonstration was unauthorized, nothing can justify physical attacks on largely peaceful demonstrators and journalists covering the protests,”said Giorgi Gogia, senior South Caucasus researcher at Human Right Watch, adding that the Police responsible for beating protesters and interfering with the work of journalists should be held to account.
The statement says also that early on June 23 the authorities warned protesters that the gathering was unsanctioned and told them to clear the street. The police warned that if the protesters did not cooperate, the police would use “special means” to disperse them. Soon thereafter police forcibly dispersed the crowd.
A witness told Human Rights Watch by phone that after police had given at least two warnings to disperse, many protesters stayed in place. Almost immediately, the police turned highpressure water cannons against the protesters. The witness was sprayed in the face, causing his vision to be temporarily impaired, and was escorted to the hospital by other protesters.