Daniel Ioannisyan’s Speech on March 1 events in the RA National Assembly

Mr. Speaker, dear deputies and guests,

I did not understand one thing. Mr. Bisharyan, are we discussing results of forensic examinations? I thought we are discussing political assessments of the tragic events, as well as the scope of activities aimed at prevention of their repetition. That is the learnt lesson mentioned by Mr. Farmanyan.

I expected that the circumstance why citizens went on sit-in strikes, and who is to be blamed for the violence used towards peaceful protestors as a result of which the citizens gathered near Myasnikyan’s statue will become a topic of discussion.

We should discuss how the armed forces appeared in the center of Yerevan before the state of emergency was introduced.

By the way, Mr. Kostanyan, on what facts do you base your claim when you say that Order N 0038 was not related to the events in Yerevan if that circumstance has not been subject of investigation. I am not even speaking of bringing the BMPs from Vanadzor. Mr. Kostanyan, there is no Armenian-Azerbaijani line of contact in Yerevan. Let the RA Investigative Committee investigate and find out whether there was a relation or not.

The law enforcement bodies treat it as a “One person killed the other” story. The connection between the orders issued by the president and the heads of law enforcement structures and the killings was not investigated at all. And there actually were illegal orders, and the fact-finding group has revealed it.

As Mr. Bisharyan confirmed, the extent to which the orders of high-ranking policemen and soldiers contributed to the killings was not investigated. And this is the most important factor since those who gave commands and those who executed them have the largest share of responsibility.

Perhaps everyone understands why the high ranking officials’ actions have not been investigated. And that creates the risk of repetition of such cases in the future.

And such cases were repeated, of course with less grave circumstances.

In the morning of June 23, 2015, the Police (at least based on the order of the head of Yerevan department Ashot Karapetyan) used special means and physical force against peaceful protestors. On the same day, the policemen were consistently destroying the journalists’ equipment, and the footage clearly shows how the Commander of the Police Troops Levon Yeranosyan instructs to break the journalist’s camera and how the command is immediately executed.

Naturally, neither Karapetyan, nor Yeranosyan were held responsible. Both of them remained in office, and one year later (on July 29, 2016) they again used special means and physical force against peaceful protestors and journalists in Sari Tagh district and Khorenatsi street, as a result of which about 130 civilians received bodily injuries.

Moreover, since the involvement of criminal groups during March 1 events was not properly investigated, the same happened on July 29 in Sari Tagh, where the criminal groups participated in the operation against peaceful protestors together with the police.

Obviously, those who gave orders for the actions against peaceful protestors in 2016 were not held responsible.

Ladies and gentlemen, as long as those who organized the violence against civilians and issued the appropriate orders in February and March 1 2008, June 2015 and July 2016 have not been held accountable, the Armenian citizens will never trust that peaceful assembly is safe.

Dear deputies, show your political support to your fellow citizens who go to the streets to protest, particularly the peaceful protestors who have been injured, illegally detained and tortured in the police station. Otherwise, you inadvertently support the radicalization of the public. Otherwise, people start to view you as their enemies, which may have the consequences well known to you.

Thank you!

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