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Armenian Court of Appeal Rules Against Alleged Police Abuse Victim

The Armenian Court of Appeal denied on Wednesday, October 28 Vanadzor resident Ani Boshyan's appeal against a decision to terminate criminal proceedings against police officers who allegedly exerted psychological pressure on Boshyan and humiliated her in order to force her into writing a confession about distributing sexually explicit pictures of herself on the Internet. 

Boshyan reported the incident in November, 2014. According to the claim, the young woman was groundlessly detained by officers from the Taron division of the Armenian Police who forced her to undress at the station justifying their demand with a desire to find out whether she had any tattoos. The law enforcement officers, Boshyan stated, threatened to send her to jail where she “would not be able to survive” without her parents, kept her in detention until 3 am, urged her to confess to the crime promising that the would “get away with an AMD 200 thousand (about $420) fine.” Based on the report, the Armenian Special Investigation Service initiated criminal proceedings for abuse of official power.

Several days after the interrogation, Boshyan attempted suicide by taking overdose amounts of sleeping pills; however, the SIS failed to launch a criminal case for inciting suicide. The Taron department officers were questioned as witnesses, and SIS investigator N. Barseghyan, finding no sufficient proof of corpus delicti, discontinued the proceedings.

Prior to filing an appeal with the Court of Appeal, Boshyan demanded to annul the above-mentioned decision at a Yerevan first instance court, which, however, handed down a verdict in favor of the investigator.

Ani Boshyan’s representatives, human rights defender Artur Sakunts plans to challenge the Court of Appeal ruling at the Armenian Court of Cassation.