Police officers’ actions to open the street were lawful. This is what President of the Helsinki Committee of Armenia, human rights activist Avetik Ishkhanyan said during a March 15 press conference, talking about police actions to open the Tumanyan-Mashtots intersection that citizens had closed as a sign of protest against the dismantling of the cafés near the Opera House yesterday.
“It is safe to consider this assembly spontaneous. Based on our calculations, there were not more than 100 people there, but there were about twice as many police officers. This was not proportionate, according to the international laws on assemblies,” he stated.
The human rights activist claims that the demonstrators could have kept a street closed for up to 6 hours in order to make their voices heard.
He claimed that the police actions to open the street and the detention of citizens were not lawful. “The police started opening the street and detained 22 people based on the citizens’ failure to obey the police officers’ legitimate demands, but the police officers’ actions to open the street were unlawful since they had to wait at least 6 hours.”
However, the human rights activist highlighted the fact that the force applied by the police officers was not very brutal.