YEREVAN—The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office (HCAV) has called on Armenia’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) to charge the First Deputy Head of Police Hunan Poghosyan and Deputy Head of Police Levon Yeranosyan as part of a criminal case in connection with the violent dispersal of peaceful demonstrators by police in Yerevan on June 23.
The deputy police heads, HCAV said, should be charged for giving an order to seize the cameras of journalists and destroy their data storage devices.
Early this month, SIS initiated criminal proceedings under articles of obstructing legal professional activities of journalists by an official; abuse of power committed with violence, weapons, or special measures; and deliberate destruction or damage of one’s property.
At the same time, HCAV filed another claim for the involvement of the accused police officers who used excessive force and violence against demonstrators on Baghramyan Avenue on June 23. HCAV presented SIS with a list of names of officers whose identities the organization managed to establish, as well as photos of plainclothes policemen involved in the incident for their identification and indictment.
“By their actions, Yeranosyan and Poghosyan committed a publicly dangerous act. The order to destroy the footage shot by journalists was aimed to cover up the crimes committed by police officers and was motivated by the desire to conceal the crimes committed by them and other high-ranking police officials,” HCA Vanadzor said in its claim.