17 June 2020, 13:10
After detention of Tsarukyan's supporters, Armenian rights defenders take police's side
At the action of supporters of Gagik Tsarukyan, the leader of the "Prosperous Armenia" Party, policemen detained 177 citizens. Rights defenders have explained law enforcers' actions by the need to control the observance of the quarantine introduced due to coronavirus.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 14, law enforcers conducted searches of the house of Gagik Tsarukyan, the party leader, and the party's offices. The party MPs treated is as political persecution. On the following day, Tsarukyan's supporters gathered for a protest action, after which 250 people were detained.
The persecution of Tsarukyan has to do with the likelihood of the opposition's consolidating around him, political analysts assert.
According to Arthur Davtyan, the Public Prosecutor General, investigators believe that at the 2017 parliamentary elections Tsarukyan was bribing voters.
After the action, about 20 advocates responded to the call to provide legal help to the detainees; legal assistance was also rendered by the Bar Association of Armenia and the office of the country's Ombudsperson, said Arsen Babayan, a board member of the "Motherland" Party.
Gayane Papoyan, an advocate, has noted that some detainees received bodily injuries.
Policemen acted with sufficient restraint so that Tsarukyan's supporters had no chance to politicize the case, said Arthur Sakunts, the head of the Vanadzor office of the Helsinki Civil Assembly. He believes that policemen's actions were caused by a desire to prevent the infection spread.
Boris Navasardyan, the head of the Yerevan Press Club, also believes that policemen acted carefully and showed tolerance for violations of the state of emergency, when supporters gathered at the Gagik Tsarukyan's house.
Author: Tigran Petrosyan, Armine Martirosyan Source: CK correspondents