On December 11, 2014 in the evening oppositionist politician Aram Manukyan, Secretary of Armenian National Congress Parliamentary Faction, was battered at the entrance to his house. According to the representatives of ANC, the unknown person was of mid height and wore a hat. He hit the parliamentary in the face without saying a word. The incident was recorded on the camera placed at the entrance hall. The law enforcement officers who arrived later took evidence from Aram Manukyan. The video record was sent for examination.
In their comments to the media the other members of ANC party linked the incident to Aram Manukyan’s activities and bold speeches. ANC representatives think this to be a part of the recent acts of violence.
On December 9 and 10 unidentified individualities battered war veterans Suren Sargsyan, Razmik Petrosyan and Manvel Yeghiazaryan. Earlier on November 27 Gevorg Safaryan, the member of “Preparliament” was attacked and battered in Khanjyan Street. Two days prior 6 cars had been set on fire. One of the cars belonged to civic activist Karen Harutyunyan, the rest belonged to the members and supporters of “Preparliament” (Susanna Melqonyan, Vardan Hakobyan, Karo Eghnukyan, Samvel Sargsyan, Lusine Galstyan). The mentioned people were participants of the initiative “100 Years without Regime”.
The police have launched criminal cases; also they are preparing materials, take testimonies from the victims. According to the Chief of the Armenian police, from now on no problem will be solved in stubborn and illegal ways; no criminal will be unpunished… However, the practice shows that after such acts of violence the society raises its voice in complain, the law enforcement agencies claim that a preliminary investigation is in process, the uproar tails off, the cases get mostly dropped and the paymasters remain undisclosed.
Last year a number of activists, who were participating in a strike-protest in front of the town hall, were battered after the same pattern. The cameras recorded Arman Aleksanyan being attacked in Mashtots Avenue, but the criminal case was suspended on the basis of non identification of the perpetrator.
The above-mentioned can be described with one word only – impunity. How can the society trust the law enforcement agencies or believe that a fair investigation is being carried out? How can the society believe that the ones responsible for the attacks will be disclosed and punished when Levon Yeranosyan, deputy Chief of police, comments the version that he might be the one to give the order of battering the veterans as follows: “I have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of, if someone insults the President of the Republic in my presence, I will cut their ears as if they were some whelps”.
Until the police have disclosed and punished the ones responsible for these acts there will still be attempts of silencing and subduing people by battering or threatening them.