Civil Society Institute Calls for Investigation in Torture Allegations


It is already more than a year that Stepan Hovakimyan and Vahram Kerobyan are under arrest. They have been charged with organizing and committing larceny at the "Moskva" cinema house on January 10, 2010 (Article 38, part 3 and Article 177, part 5, point 1 of the RA Criminal Code).

On January 11, 2010 Stepan Hovakimyan was brought to the Police department of Kentron district without any reason and without registration. His freedom was illegally restricted.

On January 14, 2010 Stepan Hovakimyan was again called to the Police department of Kentron district. According to his testimony, physical and psychological pressure was exerted towards him, he was forced to confess that he had organized and committed the larceny at the "Moskva" cinema house on January 10, 2010.

On February 6, 2010 at the Yerevan Police department again violence was exerted against Stepan Hovakimyan. Hovakiyan says, that he was called to the Police department in a non-statutory order where he was beaten; they tried to take off his clothes and assault him with a baton, they took off his shoes and hit his soles with rubber batons, they hit him on the head. They hit him until he agreed to give the required confession.

The same day legal proceedings were instituted against Stepan Hovakimyan and Vahram Kerobyan. During the preliminary investigation of the criminal case S.Hovakimyan told the investigator as well as the Court of the General jurisdictionof Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts that was considering the motion to grant detention as a preventive measure, that he had no relation to that crime; larceny at the "Moskva" cinema house, and that the explanation he gave on February 6, 2010 at the Yerevan Police department and his testimony given the same day at the Police department of Kentron district, were not true and were written under physical and psychological duress.

Actually, the person was brought to the Police without registration and in a non-statutory order, kept there for a long time, so he could not exercise his rights to an attorney and informing his relatives that he was detained. As a result, confession was obtained through violence and immediately legal proceedings were instituted. In this regard, Sir Nigel Rodley, Special Rаpporteur of the UN Human Rights Committee, writes in his report: "No statement of confession made by a person deprived of liberty, other than one made in the presence of a judge or a lawyer, should have a probative value in court".[1]

The Civil Society Institute calls the RA authorities:

  • To hold fair trial in the case of Stepan Hovakimyan and Vahram Kerobyan and not use the materials obtained through duress as a proof.

  • To hold independent, efficient, complete investigation into the allegations on torture; reveal and bring the responsible people to justice.

  • Stop the defective practice of putting only the confession in the basis of the case.


[1] Special Rapporteur Sir Nigel Rodley's report, presented according to the 2002, Dec        17 2001/62, E/CN.4/2003/68 resolution of the Human Rights Commission.