The Human Rights Defender of Armenia has received complaints according to which police officers have been apprehending various residents of Goris city of Syunik Province and coercing them to give inaccurate testimonies over the past few days. This is stated in the statement issued by the Office of the Human Rights Defender. The statement also reads as follows:
“There are also publications about this on the Internet which will be forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office for investigation today.
According to the complaints, in different periods, including during 2021, the residents received from community bodies social support, but law-enforcement authorities, including police officers are apprehending them without grounds and taking them to the police stations, depriving them of liberty for hours and coercing them to give testimonies according to which the head of Goris enlarged community, the heads of Karahunj and Vorotan districts gave them social support as electoral bribes. There are also alarms according to which residents are being forced to give testimonies regarding several other issues.
The residents insist that they have always received social support and that this hasn’t had anything to do with the elections. According to the complaints, there is particularly pressure on women, and police officers are threatening to move them or their husbands to Yerevan, detain or arrest them.
Taking the complaints and alarms into consideration, the Office of the Human Rights Defender has sent a task force to Syunik Province to verify the issues related to human rights protection on the spot and hold necessary meetings. By the assignment of the Human Rights Defender, today there will also be visits to the detained heads of Karahunj and Vorotan districts. There will also be a visit to the head of Kajaran district at a penitentiary institution.”