Manvel Grigoryan in the courtroom. Photo by Tigran Petrosyan for the Caucasian Knot

20 November 2019, 19:05

Armenian human rights defenders see cruelty in refusal to release Manvel Grigoryan

The presence of Manvel Grigoryan at hearings required by the court is torture, the defence believes. While refusing to release Manvel Grigoryan from arrest, the court acts in an inhuman way, suggest human rights defenders interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Manvel Grigoryan was detained in June 2018. He is accused of illegal arms trafficking and embezzlement on a large scale. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that Manvel Grigoryan had embezzled humanitarian aid intended for the army.

To the court hearing held on November 19, Manvel Grigoryan was brought in a wheelchair, with an oxygen mask on his face. He was accompanied by two medical officers. Just ten minutes after the court hearing, the judge announced a break because of the deterioration of the defendant's health.

The defence insists that Manvel Grigoryan should not be summoned to the court. The judge took advantage of the fact that the opinion of the medical commission contains no definite conclusion about the impossibility of the Manvel Grigoryan's presence at the court hearings, advocate Arsen Mkrtchyan has told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

Larisa Alaverdyan, the head of the public organization "Against Legal Arbitrariness", the first ombudsman of Armenia, believes that Manvel Grigoryan is at least subjected to "ill-treatment." "The delay in the trial speaks in favour of the version that there is other motivation for the Manvel Grigoryan's arrest [in addition to the official one]," Larisa Alaverdyan added.

Manvel Grigoryan should be released, believes human rights defender Zhanna Aleksanyan, the head of the public organization "Journalists for Human Rights". "This is inhumane treatment. The judicial system and the law enforcement bodies know no mercy," Zhanna Aleksanyan told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on November 20, 2019 at 02:28 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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