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Two Police Officers Accused of Beating Detainee Granted Amnesty

Two security officers accused of beating Robert Hovsepyan while the latter was in police custody were found guilty today by the Court of Kentron and Nork Marasha Administrative Districts of Yerevan. Helsinki Association for Human Rights observer Zaruhi Hovhannisyan informed Epress.am that the two officers, Khachik Bakhbudaryan and Artak Barseghyan, however, were released after the verdict was announced because of the general amnesty applied to them.

The officers were accused of abuse of office and exceeding their authorities, causing significant harm to another and to the state. According to the indictment, the officers detained Hovsepyan and beat him in order to get him to confess to a series of thefts. This they did on Oct. 3; meanwhile, they wrote in a report that thety detained Hovhannisyan on Oct. 4.

In court, Hovsepyan said he was beaten by not only these two officers, but also several other officers. The victim claimed that police officers "brought faggots to the station and threatened to ruin me". Hovsepyan also said former chief of investigations at Kentron police station Artur Mkrtchyan told the two officers, "Beat him until he confesses [to the crime]."

In court, Mkrtchyan denied this, as well as the victim's other claim that he gave Hovsepyan brandy and said, "Drink up, relax; well done for confessing."