Raising Effectiveness of Protection of Citizens’ Rights in Relations with the Police
Within the framework of the NHC-funded three-year program “Raising Effectiveness of Protection of Citizens’ Rights in Relations with the Police”, the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor has issued a report and video illustrating the relations between police and citizens of Armenia in 2015.
The media monitoring carried out by the HCAV revealed a total of 304 cases of human rights violations by police officers in 2015, with 201 cases during assemblies or as a result of attending them and 103 individual cases.
In 2015, the highest rate of human rights violations covered as follows: right to freedom of peaceful and unarmed assembly (96 cases), right to liberty and security of person (70 cases), right to be free from physical violence (37 cases), right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment (37 cases) and right to effective legal remedies (22 cases).
The individual cases covered violation of 15 rights; the highest rate covered the right to be free from physical violence (24 cases), right to liberty and security of person (23 cases), right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment (18 cases) and right to effective legal remedies (11 cases).
During assemblies, 13 rights were violated, with the highest violation rate of the right to freedom of peaceful and unarmed assembly (96 cases), right to liberty and security of person (47 cases), right to be free from inhuman or degrading treatment (19 cases) and right to be free from physical violence (13 cases).
228 of the 304 identified cases occurred in Yerevan, but cases occurred all over Armenia and on the Nagorno Karabakh border.
The media monitoring revealed that most of the cases of human rights violations by the police in 2015 occurred during assemblies. Since assemblies have wide public resonance and are most widely covered in the mass media, there is a big database on the cases during assemblies, which cannot hold true for individual cases.
50 of the 103 individual cases identified in 2015 through the monitoring related to activists, political parties, NGOs or other public figures. Moreover, most of the cases of violation of the rights of nonpublic figures were collected from the website of the Special Investigation Service and only a small number of such cases were collected from the materials shared by the mass media.
Consequently, unlike cases of illegal actions by police officers during public assemblies, mass media did not properly cover violations by police officers of the rights of non-public persons or ordinary citizens.
The project continues with an assessment of public perception of the law enforcement agencies, in which a public opinion poll will be conducted throughout the whole country in order to calculate the arbitrariness index of law enforcement bodies.