Home / Video / ‘Expected Laser Beams and Helicopters but Found Sleeping Security Officers:’ Armenian Artist Testifies in Court

‘Expected Laser Beams and Helicopters but Found Sleeping Security Officers:’ Armenian Artist Testifies in Court

Armenia's National Security Service (NSS) “does not welcome” artist Artak Gevorgyan's behaviour, and yet the state agency does not have any claims against the defendant for crashing a homemade cardboard tank into the NSS building. According to a writ sent by the agency to Yerevan's Kentron and Nork Marash district court, Gevorgyan “did not cause serious trouble” to its officers and the NSS therefore does not wish to take part in the court proceedings

Gevorgyan took the stand in his trial Monday, testifying that after the “rigged” constitutional amendments referendum on December 6, 2015, he decided to go to the office of the Central Election Commission and express his protest “through my art.” The artist did not wish to further elaborate on his December 10 action, stressing only that it was directed against the “poor socio-economic situation” in the country. He added that he had fled the scene after “crashing” his tank into the NSS building since he had been “afraid the officers would slaughter me.”

“I ran away because I've always had the impression that I'd be hit by laser beams before I even managed to go up to the NSS building, I've expected people rushing out of helicopters… But upon approaching the building, I saw sleeping national security officers,” the artist said jockingly, stating nevertheless that had the officers actually come up to him, he wouldn't have fled since he was carrying out a public action and had had nothing to hide.

Artak Gevorgyan does not believe he has committed any crime because otherwise, he said, he would have been arrested on the spot. “[The next day] police detained me as it turned out over another matter but would ask questions about the tank, like, 'so, you drove a tank yesterday?' Only a day after my detention, I was arrested by unknown people and held in an unknown place for a long time, where I was forced to write that I regretted my actions,” the artist told the court.

Recall, according to the indictment, at about 1:30am on December 10, 2015, Hakaharvats (Counter Strike) street art group member Artak Gevorgyan “deliberately crashed” his homemade cardboard tank into the iron gates of the administrative building of the National Security Service, grossly violating public order and hindering the work of officers on duty. Gevorgyan's action, prosecutors claim, has also “caused a sense of fear among the officers about property safety.”