On February 2, 2015 “Civil Society Institute” NGO issued a
statement concerning the incident which had happened to the members of the “Founding
Parliament” during the auto-rally
to Artsakh. This incident is asssessed to be in
violation of human rights
and freedoms forbidden both under the RA and NKR Criminal Codes.
The statement is fully presented below:
On January 31, 2015 the rally to Artsakh initiated by the members of the “Founding Parliament” was stopped by the NKR police in Berdzor. The purpose of the rally was to raise awareness and it had to have taken place in December, 2014. However, given the situation on the border the rally was considered strongly undesirable by the NKR authorities who had notified the “Founding Parliament” members thereon.
Besides the police the rally participants were also met by people in civilian clothing, some of whom were wearing masks. According to the video material disseminated by the NKR authorities, a huge group of citizens who were against the rally also gathered there.
Insisting that the “Founding Parliament’s” campaign was a reason for the growing tension and discontentment among the population, the police used disproportionate force against the rally participants, which resulted in several people being injured and turned for a medical treatment. The rally cars were deliberately damaged, the cameras recording the incident were destroyed, i.e. there was also intentional property loss/damage. According to the video materials disseminated by the “Founding Parliament” members, one can see that after blocking the way the police kept damaging the cars by hitting them with batons even after the cars started reversing. During the whole incident, the police obviously exceeded their authority and took actions violating the rights and freedoms of the people. Such actions are unlawful and they are considered to be forbidden actions - crimes both under the RA and NKR Criminal Codes.
Given the above-mentioned we are calling upon the authorities of RA and NKR to:
- Initiate a criminal case and provide a productive and efficient investigation into the given facts,
- Identify those responsible for the crime and hold them accountable.
- Provide the exercise of the right to peaceful assemblies”.