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Police actions in Yerevan on June 23 disproportionate — Armenia’s human rights ombudsman

July 06, 2015, 19:38 UTC+3 YEREVAN
The use of water cannon and physical strengthen was not determined by an absolute necessity, Armenia’s human rights ombudsman Karen Andreasyan comments
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© Narek Aleksanyan/PAN Photo via AP, File

YEREVAN, July 6. /TASS/. The police actions to disperse the protesters on Marshal Baghramyan Avenue are "disproportionate to the situation", Armenia’s human rights ombudsman Karen Andreasyan said on Monday.

"The use of water cannon and physical strengthen was not determined by an absolute necessity," he said.

On the other hand, Andreasyan appraised the attitude of law enforcers to participants in the protests on other days, pointing to "the observation of law with regard to protesters, non-application of administrative sanctions as well as consistent efforts to ensure the safety of participants in the protests."

However, along with tolerance shown by law enforcers, there were violations, Andreasyan said. "A number of police officers clad in civilian clothes, which runs counter to the law, took part in the actions [the dispersal] on June 23, used disproportionate force against protesters, violated the code of ethics," the ombudsman said. "They [police officers] hindered the activities of the media, used force against journalists, detained them and damaged their equipment." The ombudsman added he expected "a thorough investigation and adequate assessment of all disproportionate actions by police officers" by both the law enforcement agencies and Armenia’s Special investigation Service, which had opened a criminal case into these instances.

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