EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

ARMENIA: CRACKDOWN VICTIMS’ FAMILIES HAVE LITTLE HOPE FOR JUSTICE

Posted by Info on 10/07/2009

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s decision to shut down the commission investigating the deaths of the 10 people killed during March 2008 clashes between police and protesters has prompted families of the deceased to fear that those responsible for the deaths will escape punishment.

President Sargsyan ordered the commission’s closure on June 6; its members “failed to depart from their political benchmarks and work independently,” presidential spokesperson Samvel Farmanian claimed.

The prosecutor’s office has identified four police officers who carried the guns, but stated that it could not pinpoint which officer had fired the gun that killed the three men.

Seda Safarian, a former opposition member of the investigative commission, confirmed to EurasiaNet that the commission spent several months investigating the use of the riot guns. The information gathered clearly indicated that the police officers had intentionally used the weapon against the three people slain, she said.

After more than a year of waiting, however, the diplomatic approach carries little weight with grieving families.

“We have no more hope that the cases will be solved in our country, but we won’t let anyone kill our children and go on to enjoy life. The guilty must be punished.”

commented Sargis Kloyan, the father of 28-year-old Gor Kloyan, an election monitor for Serzh Sargsyan’s campaign and one of the three people killed by a Cheryomukha-7 gun.

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