August 02
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YEREVAN. – I was illegally detained for 1.5 days. Doctor Armen Charchyan, who is director of Izmirlian Medical Center and is on the "Armenia" bloc’s electoral list in Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections, told this to a press conference on the same day.

"I do not want to refer to the legal side of the issue at all; I have only two things to say. First of all, I consider the suspicion of the charge against me absolutely unacceptable because I know enough about the law, and I have never committed any transgression, crime with my activities. Therefore, this [criminal] case that was ‘tailor-made,’ brought against me does not contain material in it; it is a balloon that will explode like a balloon.

Secondly, if there is really no basis, if our very respected lawyers, being convinced that there is no basis, in any case initiate a case, even detain me, it means that there was a clear order, there was a strict demand for my being detained. With this, they revealed my strength and ability. This showed that this case has an exclusively political tone and depends exclusively on my civic and political position.

There is a third point, too, but now I will not say [that] now, so that it would not be considered [election] campaign," Charchyan said.

"(…) the matter [should] be considered in a purely legal context. We are all equal before the law. The issue should also be considered in the moral sphere," he added.

Asked whether he actually had instructed the employees of Izmirlian hospital, Charchyan answered: "Did you find an element of instruction in my recording? You did not find because it does not exist."

Armenian reported earlier that a recording was spread in the press alleging Armen Charchyan putting pressure on his subordinates at Izmirlian Medical Center, and a criminal case was initiated at the Special Investigation Service (SIS) in that regard.

According to the respective SIS statement, Charchyan had forced the employees of this hospital to vote in Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections. In particular, he urged them to vote against the current authorities, at the same time threatening that if his request is not met, they will receive "much harsher treatment" and "severely inadequate response," and that they will "check" who among them voted in the elections, insinuating that he decides the "fate” of their “generations."

Armen Charchyan on Saturday was remanded in custody on suspicion of committing a serious respective crime under the Criminal Code.

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