Use of Brutal Force Against Citizens Will Not Solve Armenia’s Problems

Armenian police drag a protester before arresting him on Monday in Yerevan
Armenian police drag a protester before arresting him on Monday in Yerevan

Armenian police drag a protester before arresting him on Monday in Yerevan

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

As a standoff continues after a group calling itself the “Daredevils of Sasoun” seized a police station in Yerevan on Sunday, an appalling reality is taking shape across the city, which warrants addressing because it goes counter to any resolution that might be on the horizon for the crisis at hand. It can be said that the situation stems from the public’s desperation and exacerbation of the current socio-economic situation in Armenia.

Scores of people have been detained or brutally beaten by the police in the hours and days following the seizure of the police station, prompting angry protests from the public. The aim of the protesters is to make sure there is no bloodshed in the country–a legitimate concern given the volatility of the circumstances.

Unfortunately, the use of force against the citizens of Armenia has become commonplace by law enforcement. Throughout the years, we have seen disturbing images emanating from Armenia of police using force against protesters, many of the young and energetic post-independence generation of men and women who have chosen to advance the future of their country by staying in the homeland and fighting injustice rather than leave Armenia for a presumed better life.

What makes the most recent episode more disturbing is the tenuous climate that has been created as a result of the police station seizure and the ensuing hostage crisis. This situation requires a more calm and stable approach from law enforcement than actions that might instigate violence and uncivil disobedience.

It is ironic that the same authorities, which on Saturday called for “stability and order… based on democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms” in Turkey after that country’s failed coup is now employing brutal violence against its own people, who are calling for stability and order based on democracy by using their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The events of the past three days must become a catalyst for Armenia’s leaders to change course and engage in dialogue with the citizens of Armenia for a better future. After all, wasn’t the adoption of a new Constitution supposed to usher in a more equitable and democratic Armenia?

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11 Comments

  1. catherine Yesayan said:

    Well thought out editorial. Let’s hope for the best.

  2. Serop said:

    The Davajans controlling Armenia need to go soon, history has always shown us that these clan leaders have no love or care about our nation but their own self interests.. When will ARF take a strong stance? Or will the ARF simply look on while our nation is sold out & destroyed again?

  3. Hago hagopian said:

    It’s your double standard. Why is it ok for Theturks to use brutal force but not these CIA operatives calling themselves Armenian citizens. Brutal force is not enough for these leeches.

  4. Դրօ said:

    Is there any footage of civilians being “brutally beaten” by the police? I haven’t seen any so far.

  5. Hovo said:

    Illigal violence protests is harmful for Armenia and won’t help to resolve any problem either. Murderer of a Armenian police man should arrested and tried in Armenian’s criminal court also.

  6. Hrant Apovian said:

    Great piece
    Human rights, social justice, civil liberties
    must be preserved at all cost.
    That is the only path to social order
    We should heed to the plight of the people of Armenia.

  7. Greg said:

    Mr khatchatourian, can you please be so kind as to tell me how a European nations have reacted when a police officer has been shot. I suggest you search up the case of PC Yvonne fletcher. You seem to be glossing over the fact that a policeman was murdered. If armed men were to approach a US police station they would be shot first and asked questions later. Why are you insisting that armenian police follow another rule.

  8. Raffi said:

    Democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms functions differently in different countries, it is not the same in Gergia than in Lebanon, or Armenia, the media should act responsibly, and avoid instigation, for Armenia at this point, survival of Armenia comes first, Armenia is not a rich country and is in war, and 20+ years couldn’t have been better, hardship and discontent are everywhere including other parts of the world, countries like EU , UK, Turkey, Spain, Greece, the list goes on.

  9. zarkim said:

    These daredevils are nothing but a bunch of terrorists. Why?
    Terrorists take hostage, terrorists demand ransom, terrorist demand the resignation of a ruler, terrorists demand the release of a prisoner, etc..
    .
    These terrorists demand the release of a criminal. They also demand Serzh Sargsyan to step down.
    .
    There are appropriate actions that these daredevils can take to raise their concerns. Terrorism is not one of them.
    Serzh Sargsyan had nothing to do with the imprisonment of Jirair Sefilian.
    .
    If every criminal takes hostages and demands the resignation of a king or a queen, then CHAOS will rule.
    President Sargsyan is on the right track and should be supported.

    • zarkim said:

      These police actions seem to be BRUTAL. However, comparing to other countries they are not. In any other country some people would be killed so far. Police actions in Armenia are not brutal. They are necessary.
      .
      Yes, I agree with you. Armenian Government should make drastic changes. These changes will happen but will take time. May be Sargsyan and other reach people like him could chip in and help.
      .
      You want to know what happens in other countries read the following and research using google.
      .
      This Sassoon movement should be remembered and be used to fix problems. Government should find a way to end this situation peacefully.

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