Home / Health / Armenian Activist’s Forced Psychiatric Commitment ‘Not Unlawful,’ Officials Claim

Armenian Activist’s Forced Psychiatric Commitment ‘Not Unlawful,’ Officials Claim

Armenia’s law enforcement authorities have decided not to initiate criminal proceedings against the staff of Yerevan’s Nubarashen psychiatric clinic over political analyst and founder of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights NGO (IDHR) Armine Arakelyan‘s allegations of torture and harassment at the clinic, the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office (HCAV) reported today.

Erebuni and Nubarashen district senior investigator G. Matevosyan justified his December 29 decision not to prosecute the hospital staff by citing lack of criminal intent and insisting that investigators haven’t found evidence to prove that Arakelyan was indeed subjected to beatings at the psychiatric facility. The investigator also said that tying Arakelyan up and taking her to a psychiatric ward against her will was not unlawful since “she had displayed aggressive behaviour.”

According to the HCAV statement, Arakelyan’s lawyer, Arayik Zalyan, has repeatedly appealed to the investigative body with a request that the case be referred to Armenia’s Special Investigation Service, however, “the investigative authority is continuously delaying the process, thereby trying to cover up the crime.”

Recall, on May 17, 2016, Armine Arakelyan got into a fountain basin at Yerevan’s Republic Square and was consequently handcuffed and forcibly taken in an ambulance to the Nubarashen psychiatric clinic. In a subsequent interview with 1in.am, Arakelyan claimed that she had been subjected to mockery, beatings, torture and harassment at the hands of the clinic staff.