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Officials See No Grounds to Prosecute Police Officers Who Used Force On Protesting Parents

Nana Muradyan and Irina Ghazaryan, mothers of two Armenian soldiers who died during military service in 2010, have filed a complaint with a Yerevan court demanding that criminal proceedings be initiated against police officers who used excessive force against them in spring, 2015. 

On May 13, 2015, law enforcement officers forcibly removed five demonstrating parents, including the plaintiffs, from the sidewalk in front of the Armenian presidential residence. As a result of the police's violent actions, the two women sustained physical injuries; a criminal case was initiated and subsequently terminated by Armenian Special Investigation Service (SIS)

Muradyan and Ghazaryan appealed against the SIS' decision at the General Prosecutor's office, however, the prosecutor found the basis for termination substantiated.

During the first hearing on November 2, Kentron and Nork-Marash district court judge Gagik Poghosyan decided to send the case to the first instance court of Arabkir and Qanaqer-Zeytun administrative district on the grounds that both the presidential residence and the SIS are located in Arabkir.

Talking to an Epress.am reporter after the court hearing, public prosecutor Petrosyan commented on the officials initial decision to close the case. “There were sufficient reasons to open a criminal case; however, there were not enough grounds to press charges against the police officers. The case was terminated due to insufficient evidence and lack of criminal intent,” he said. 

The plaintiffs, however, claim that the decision not to initiate criminal proceedings was politically motivated since a video from the scene clearly shows police officers using force against the protesters. Forensic medical examination findings also confirmed the presence of injuries on the victims' bodies.