UPDATE 08.01.2019: After the Velvet Revolution that toppled the Republican Party regime in April 2018, the rule of Nikol Pashinyan has led to the release from imprisonment or pre-trial detention of all political prisoners on the list below.
Since President Sargsyan decided to join the Eurasian Economic Union rather than the EU Association Agreement in 2013, the situation has deteriorated considerably in the field of political activism, human rights activism and freedom of assembly in Armenia. In particular political activists have been subject to pressure and detention.
This report compiled by Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly Vanadzor contains a list of cases of those currently detained or imprisoned under conditions that are out of proportion and discriminatory due to political motives of the authorities, as according to the criteria set out in PACE Resolution No. 1900, from 3 October 2012.
To prepare the Report, the HCA Vanadzor monitored the mass media, examined relevant judgments, observed trials and collected the required information from the families and lawyers of the persons in question. The report provides details on the circumstances of their detention, political motives and photographs of each of the present and former political prisoners.
Cases included in the report are divided into two main categories:
1. Shant Harutyunyan and friends;
2. Other political activist
Shant Harutyunyan and friends were arrested on 5 November 2013 as they were planning a march of masks for Guy Fawkes Day. The march followed statements by Harutyunyan that Armenia was in need of a revolution of values in order to solve the country’s problems, starting on 2 December 2013. 20 participants, including Harutyunyan’s minor son Shahen, were arrested and subject to several violations during the various stages of the procedures. Nine are still in detention.
The report also describes the case of the «Founding Parliament», five activists who were detained on 7 April 2015, and kept and tried under conditions out of proportion. They were released on 4 May 2015, but still may not leave the country and have a status of suspect.