The citizens who were detained yesterday by Yerevan police during an assembly at the city’s central Freedom Square were taken to the Davtashen unit of police troops and subjected to brutal beatings, Union of Informed Citizens NGO chairman Daniel Ioannisyan said in a conversation with reporters Tuesday.
“Those detained on June 17 were held in concentration camp-like conditions: they were all thrown into a small room and treated like prisoners of war. Several people, who police officers were eager to settle old scores with, were taken to another room and beaten up. As for those detained on Freedom Square yesterday, they were taken to the Davtashen unit of police troops,” Ioannisyan stated.
He added that activist Davit Sanasaryan and several other detainees have told him that they were subjected to police brutality on the way to the unit, as a result of which Sanasaryan has suffered a concussion.
“[Law enforcement officers] humiliated the guys: they spit on them and even forced them to clean their shoes. Let’s not even go into detail about the verbal abuse they were subjected to. All this happened on the way to the unit. According to the guys, at the unit police officers continued to beat Davit to the point of losing consciousness. He just lay there unconscious for about ten minutes. One of the officers told [the detainees] the following: ‘Your time has come to end – this is how things will be from now on.’ This means that police reforms have come to an end. There had been no such incident in recent years that a person be subjected to torture to the point of suffering a concussion,” Ioannisyan noted.
Protection of Rights without Borders NGO head Haykuhi Harutyunyan, for her part, stressed that it was pointless to try and find legal justification for police’s actions. “They simply used brutal and excessive force to stifle civil activism; there can be no other legal assessment of these actions,” the human rights activist said.