Friday, June 25, 2010

ANC Youth Wing Letter to OSCE Regarding Davit Kiramijyan

UPDATE: here it is in Armenian
English Document Link Here

H.E. Mr. Kanat Saudabayev,
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office,
Kazakhstan's Secretary of State and Foreign Minister


Since 2003, when the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Armenian police signed their first memorandum of understanding, the Office has initiated the implementation of a number of projects focusing on the introduction of democratic policing practices. The Armenian Media has been broadly covering the involvement of the OSCE in the process of the reformation of the Police.

Just to make a comparison - in 2004 our neighboring Georgia also started similar programme. As a result of deep structural reforms today almost 80 % of the population of Georgia trusts the Police. Now the Ministry of Interior of Georgia became one of the most credible and efficient structures in the country. Citizens of Armenia, notwithstanding TV blockade on any positive information on Georgia, are also aware that with the assistance of international structures, the political leadership of Georgia successfully implemented the task of the fighting the Police corruption and making its work visible and transparent to everybody.

Coming to Armenia we also see statements, mainly by the OSCE, on the success of the reforms in Police. However what we see on the ground is that 5 years after the cooperation with the OSCE Yerevan Office, during March 1, 2008 events, the Police shoot to death 10 peaceful demonstrators and bullet-wounded about 200 persons. Then the Police arrested more than 150 opposition supporters and intimidated thousands. We do not state, that it happened due to failings of the international organizations, since we know the capacity of cooperation and the dept of the involvement of the international community in the reforms. But we strongly regret that no statement, calling or stating that Armenian Police must behave as an institution should in democratic country, has been made by the organization leading that process - the OSCE. There was no condemnation or even a reaction of the OSCE Yerevan Office on the bloody crackdown on opposition, no comments on the persecutions of oppositional figures months and years followed the March 1 deadly events.

Now the OSCE supports another Police Reform programme, which covers 11 areas. How credible could be the programme when the OSCE Yerevan Office did not react to the vandal behavior of the Police on May 28, 29, 30 and 31, June 1, 2010? On these days the Armenian Police violated the right to freedom of movement by not letting to enter the Freedom Square (Azatutyan hraparak). During the mentioned 5 days, about 30 Armenian citizens were apprehended by the police without any legal substantiation. David Qiramijyan, a nineteen-year-old student, who studies at the Institute of Cinema and Theatre, is among them. Probably feeling the backing of one of the most prominent international organizations, the
Police charged three persons with serious indictments. The reporter of Armenian Times daily Ms. Ani Gevorgian is among that three.

Mr. David Qiramijyan, who was arrested on May 31, just wanted to enter the Freedom Square with some young members of the opposition. David was arrested by people who were not dressed in police uniforms. Then during the transportation to the Police station he was beaten by police officers and his leg, which had already undergone a surgical operation, was injured yet again and, in addition, he is currently suffering also from constant headaches. He has not been provided with any medical care until today, in spite of the results of his medical examination available to the police, in which it is clearly stated that David needs medical care and in the absence of appropriate medical interventions he risks losing the ability to move.

On June 3, David Qiramijyan was charged with hooliganism and was sanctioned to 2 months detention as a detention measure. According to the Armenian Legislation and various international agreements the decision of the court is illegal.

The leadership of the Armenian National Congress has provided to the OSCE Yerevan Office the video materials of the attack of the Police, so the brutality of the actions of the police is obvious. We believed that after that there would be relevant reaction, pressure on the Police to release Mr. David Qiramijyan. However there was no reaction by the OSCE Yerevan Office, which allowed authorities to continue keeping the young activist in prison.

Dear Minister,

We would like to ask you to urge the Armenian authorities to free David Qiramjyan immediately, since he has not committed any crime. He only used his right of free movement and we would like to ask you to urge the authorities to identify the real instigators. We also are requesting you to execute your authority to make the OSCE Yerevan Office’s efforts in the reformation of Armenian Police more effective.


Youth Branch, Armenian National Congress

CC to:

H.E. Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, the OSCE Secretary General

H.E. Ambassador Yanes Lenarcic, the ODIHR Director

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