For the singer-songwriter Yeghishe Petrosyan, who, about two years ago, actively participated in the rallies organized on Khorenatsi Street, it is unclear and unacceptable that the SIS dismisses the criminal case initiated regarding the Sari Tagh events, on the basis that the perpetrators could not be found.
“Were not they in front of all of our eyes?” the singer asks during his interview with Forrights.am”. How is it possible not to see the perpetrators in such an obvious case when everything occurred in front of video cameras, all of the actions were videotaped? What does it mean they cannot find the perpetrators?”
About two years ago, on July 29, during the days of the siege of the police station, rallies took place in the Sari Tagh district of Yerevan. During demonstrations, many citizens and journalists were injured and received burns from the riotous beatings and light and sound grenades used by the police. 47 people received shrapnel injuries, 36 were subjected to physical violence, and 5 got burns. One teenager lost his eye because of light grenades used by the police.
As a result of the events in Sari Tagh, 99 citizens have suffered, of which 23 were journalists. 19 of the journalists were recognized as victims, 2 were questioned as witnesses.
And now, the case of the Sari Tagh district, which was being investigated by the Special Investigation Service (SIS), has been dismissed since the penetrator is not known.
Singer Yeghishe Petrosyan was arrested after the events in Sari Tagh and was detained for 12 days. “But when I went to court, they told me that I was not arrested. That is, they are concealing the case, right? 12 days after the incident, I was released from custody, because there was an obvious slander against me. The police gave testimony that I participated actively in Sari Tagh events, whereas I have not reached Sari Tagh at all: I felt very bad before the events and was taken to a hospital by an ambulance,” told the singer.
Instead of stopping the case today, according to him, the SIS should reveal it very quickly and punish those guilty
“Who has collected and brought those people wthatho were swallowing tablets received from the police? Is it so hard to disclose? It occurred before our eyes, we all saw how they were getting the tablets, swallowing them in turn and going to Sari Tagh [the video of receiving and swallowing tablets circulates in the Internet],” says Yeghishe Petrosyan.
Heritage party leader Armen Martirosyan, who was charged with organizing riots in the Sari Tagh district, also thinks the SIS decision on suspending the investigation is unacceptable.
“The suspension of the criminal case is unacceptable, because there was a crime against citizens and journalists. It’s indubitable,” Martirosyan said.
“Instead of revealing it, they suspend it. The majority of the inciddents happened in front of cameras, and on others there are lots of testimonies. I know that the reporters gave testimony, so there was no difficulty in revealing everything,” Martirosyan stressed.
Some journalists who have been recognized as victims have already decided to appeal the SIS decision. “The illicit decision of the SIS is a direct blow against the revolution, against the government’s course to protect human rights, our dream of building a democratic state,” writes a well-known journalist who has received burns in Sari Tagh, Robert Ananyan, on his Facebook page.
“In democracies, they do not do that. I do not know based on what political calculations has been decided to save Yeranosyan [a chief of police at the time], not to file charges against him, but it is a very damaging way. If we are determined to build a just and legitimate state, then impunity should not take place. This statement does not need any proof,” wrote the journalist informing that he, along with the human rights activist Haykuhi Harutyunyan, have decided to appeal the decision to dismiss his case and, after exhausting all Armenian instances, to apply to the European court.
“There is a question though that worries me: why do the government and the SIS make us to seek justice abroad? Why cannot we solve our problems in Armenian instances? Why should tomorrow, or the next day, the taxpayers compensate me for the illegality of the state from their own pocket? Don’t we get tired of this practice?” the journalist who suffered from the police actions in Sari Tagh asks the new government.