The acting police chief of Sisian has beaten a 60-year-old citizen for not taking over the theft. The incident took place on April 6.

The citizen was detained at three o’clock AM. “They took me for theft, the Sisian police chief beat me. I was in that department all night,” says the citizen, detailing that he they let him go home at 5 AM.

According to the citizen, because he spent the whole night in the police department, coming home, he immediately fell asleep. When he woke up, he felt weakness and dizziness; he was taken to Sisian hospital, where he was given medical assistance.

60 years-old Garnik M. has many bruises on his face most of which were resulted because he did not “confess” his guilt in theft committed by somebody else.

 “They were saying, ‘Write down that you did it. You have to say you took the things. Regardless of what happened, you have taken them’. I said, now if I tell you that I took those things, wouldn’t you tell me to bring them back?” The citizen says with concern, noting that he was ready to write that he had done it because he could not stand such torture any longer․ “I am a 60 years-old man and they beat me, and I can’t stand it anymore.”

Lawyer Lusine Zeynalyan told Forrights that Garnik M. is currently under the supervision of forensic doctors, his health condition is assessed as normal, but he has obvious bruises.

“Nothing has changed in the regions. People used to see the police as militiamen and little lords, and now they continue to see them that way, and they continue to behave like that,” the president of the Helsinki Association NGO, human rights activist Nina Karapetyants told Forrights.

The human rights activist notes that when they were not held accountable for what they had done in the past, on the contrary, they were thanked and awarded medals, naturally, they would continue to behave the same way. And so, the police chief beats the citizens himself, enjoying beating people.

“I do not expect anything more from all these systems, we will receive a lot of bad information. When the time comes, the law enforcement agencies have the opportunity to rebel for returning the old regime, they will not miss the opportunity and will hit the revolution and the current government from behind.” They simply do not have an idea that by thanking and drawing red lines aimlessly, they do not make all those bodies more civilized, but simply give them the opportunity to continue their work without reforming,” the human rights activist notes.

According to Nina Karapetyants, immediately after the revolution, the authorities responsible for legal order sincerely waited for accountability, because they knew better than us what they had done and understood that they could not remain without being held accountable, as a result they behaved a little restrained. Now they understand that they have not been and will not be held accountable because their previous crimes have been concealed and continue to be concealed.

“It is evident that a criminal who remains unpunished becomes more cynical and impudently commits new crimes,” the human rights activist is convinced.

Nina Karapetyants is sure that there are more such cases of torture, but people continue not to raise their voices, because when they do not have friends, relatives, we know they will swallow it, and if they raise the issue, they will not be sure that they will not be falsely accused and charged as usually is the case.

Human rights activist Vardan Harutyunyan assures that such cases of torture did not increase lately, they have always been in our country; there are just opportunities to speak out about such cases today․

“Journalists and social networks contribute to this, which is a new opportunity nowadays. There have been much more such cases in the past, but they have not been raised and the public has not been informed.

Srbuhi Grigoryan, a member of the “Bright Armenia” faction of the National Assembly, had alerted that the acting mayor of Sisian had used violence against three more citizens, one of whom was a member of the Sisian City Council, and the other citizen was born in 1952.

“According to the information, they have broken the jaw of one of them, but the Sisian hospital neither denied nor confirmed this information,” the MP told Forrights, adding that she would follow up on the case and send notes to relevant departments.

On the instructions of the RA Chief of Police Arman Sargsyan, an official investigation will be conducted into the incidents in Sisian.

“If, as a result of the official investigation, it turns out that there were indeed tortures, that person should be severely punished. It is not only a question of firing him, but also of criminal liability,” said human rights activist Vardan Harutyunyan. However, the official examinations do not always reveal the truth, that’s why there should also be public control, and of course the authorities should set the task of revealing the truth.

“Closed systems, instead of protecting their own people, should be engaged in revealing the reality and raising the problems,” says human rights activist Vardan Harutyunyan.

Azniv Siradeghyan

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