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Yerevan Police Chief Goes Back on His Promise to Meet with Mother of Dead Soldier

Yerevan Police chief Sargis Martirosyan had promised the mothers of soldiers who died in the Armenian army in non-combat incidents to meet on Monday and continue the viewing of the surveillance footage of last week’s altercation between the women and several police officers outside the government building. Speaking to Epress.am on Tuesday, however, soldier Artur Ghazaryan’s mother, Irina Ghazaryan said the police chief has failed to follow through on his word “because the video is not beneficial for the police.”

At a February 10 meeting with Nana Muradyan and Irina Ghazaryan, Yerevan police chief Sargis Martirosyan and the chief of staff of the national police Meruzhan Hakobyan had informed the women that Yerevan police have launched an internal investigation into their allegations that police officers had spat at them during the incident and threatened to detain them. The women had at first been convinced that the surveillance footage would verify their claims about the police officers’ behaviour; however, during the viewing it had turned out that the video was incomplete and did not have a sound. In addition, the camera on the government building had shot the officers from behind, and the footage therefore did not show their actions distinctly.

“As regards Nana Muradyan, [the officials] wanted to find out whether the police officer had intentionally spat at her or had he just have excess saliva in his mouth while talking. In my case, however, it is clearly seen that the officer purposely spits at me. This part of the video, however, was not shown to us,” Irina Ghazaryan told our reporter today.

During the previous meeting, Ghazaryan had insisted on viewing the full footage, which Martirosyan had initially refused, claiming that “it’s unessential and beside the point.” Afterwards, however, the police chief agreed to schedule another meeting with Ghazaryan on Monday.

“It is not coincidental that the meeting did not happen. He is deliberately refusing to meet me because the video clearly shows the officer spitting at me, which is not beneficial for the police,” Ghazaryan said.