Law and order in the post-war country

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
April 19 2004


– How would you evaluate the work of the police in the past year? Has
the criminal situation changed in the country? – First of all it
should be mentioned that as a country which suffered war and a
post-war period the situation in our country is under considerably
strict control. In 2003 605 offences were registered by us, which is
less by 63 against 2002. These were revealed by 93.3 percent against
the 88.8 percent of 2002. As a rule they judge about the criminal
situation according to the offences. Thus, in 2003 the Criminal
Investigation Department revealed 387 crimes of which 92 were grave.
91 percent of the crimes were revealed. There were five cases of
murder, three were revealed, two cases were dismissed because of
absence of evidence of crime. – What were the circumstances of the
murders? – S. Harutiunian from Stepanakert with cruelty hit his wife
and son on the head with a hammer. Both died. The offender was
convicted and sent to mental house for obligatory psychiatric
treatment. In the village Charektar, region Shahumian the son
quarreled with his father and killed him, he was sentenced to 8.5
years of imprisonment. V. Harutiunian from the village Mirik,
Kashatagh region, deadly beat his wife out of jealousy. As to the
other two cases, inhabitant of the village Vank A. Hakobian got frozen
in the forest, and V. Ghahramanian from Kashatagh region drowned when
crossing the river Vorotan. In 2004 two murders were reported. In
Stepanakert school N 9 the teenager hit his friend with a knife (the
interrogation is not over), and the mother killed and buried her
newborn baby (the case was sent to the court). – What type of crimes
are frequent in Karabakh? – Mainly pilferage. Our services register
without exception all the crimes (up to theft of aluminum dishes,
wire). This is necessary for controlling the situation, discovering
the sources of crime. The motives of crime are mainly of social
nature. It is notable that the number of crimes committed at public
places, juvenile crime, crimes committed by the jobless and people not
attending any educational institution has reduced. This, on the one
hand, testifies to the effective work of our services, and on the
other hand, the gradual social and economic development of our
country. If a person works, his rest is organized normally, he will
not commit a crime. It is not accidental that during significant
competitions in Stepanakert (tournaments of billiards, chess) the
crime rate steeply dropped. On the whole, I evaluate the situation in
the republic as not alarming, and in comparison to the other former
hot spots where the rate of crime with use of guns is still very high,
the situation in our country is stable. – Is the process of
confiscation of weapon from the population going on? – Yes, you know
that the population mainly keeps trophy weapons. But these are
confiscated; many give their weapons voluntarily. This year the rate
of crimes committed with the use of gun dropped. Besides, there were
17 cases of confiscation of guns and ordnance, 74 guns were delivered
to the police voluntarily. – Azerbaijan accuses Karabakh of dealing in
drugs. Are there reasons for this? – This is complete absurd. There
is no dealing and cannot be. Twice a year we carry out the operation
`Poppy’ for discovering and destroying cultivatedand wild growing
cannabis. Last year 22 cases of drug use and storing were
revealed. Quite recently in the village Avetaranots, Askeran region a
group of cannabis dealers were discovered. Besides, we must confess
that fortunately drug addiction is not a disaster for Karabakh, as it
is in other countries. Very few use cannabis, and there are no cases
of use of heroin and cocaine. – Mr. Isagulov, European standards
require that the remand prison should be within the authority of the
Ministry of Defence and not the police. What is your attitude to this
idea? What is the situation of the remand prisons in the republic?
â=80` Conceptually I am for this, but I think that from the technical
aspect and the aspect of cadres the Ministry of Justice is not ready
to assume this authority. I think this process requires a gradual
solution. As to the situation in remand prisons, according to the
evaluations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (the
representatives of which regularly attend to the remand prisons of
Karabakh) the situation in Karabakh is incomparably better than in the
Caucasian region. – As we mentioned the region, could you speak about
the cooperation with the corresponding agencies of Armenia? – Our
cooperation with Armenia is on the highest level. During the last two
years numerous crimes were revealed and prevented as a result of joint
operation. A series of murders the point of which reached Karabakh was
revealed in one of the regions of Armenia. If you remember, due to the
Karabakh officials of the police the murder of the Armenian TV
journalist Tigran Naghdalian was revealed. Due to our efforts the
attempted explosion in the supermarket of the Malatia district in
Yerevan was prevented. The offender was caught on the way to the place
of crime when carrying the explosives. By the way, several of our
policemen were awarded by the government of Armenia for taking place
in the joint operations. Several newspapers accuse you of
participating in the recent events in Yerevan. They say you left for
Yerevan with your special forces and your Jeep was seen in front of
one of the hotels in Yerevan. – On April 4-5 I was in Yerevan and
stayed at that hotel. With some other officials we were invited to the
wedding of our deceased friend Leonid Petrossian. As to our
participation in the Yerevan events, these are false rumours. I state
officially that no worker of the NKR police (besides one or two who
were in Yerevan on business) was in Yerevan during the events in
Armenia. The force ministries of Karabakh were not and could not be
related to these events. I am sorry that certain politicians try to
tap a wedge between the two parts of the Armenian nation. – The work
of the police workers is greatly dependent on their social
condition. How many workers does the police have? – Today we have 691
workers. According to the European standards, as a ratio to the
population this is, of course, little but, I think, enough to keep the
situation under control. As to social security, in 2002 the government
passed a decree according to which the workers living on the salary of
police receive additional payment. We have set forth the bill of
increasing the salary of the rank and file staff of the police by 10
thousand drams. By the way, the salary of the officers in Karabakh is
higher than in Armenia. If the promotion is confirmed, the minimum
salary of the rank and file policemen will be 28-30 thousand drams. We
help those who need medical care as much as we can. We have a special
fund of which we provide means to the workers who apply for aid. – As
far as we know, the promotion of salaries in the republic from January
1 did not refer to the police, whereas, it had been stated that the
increase of salaries was part of the anti-corruption program. Is there
within the police a service for internal control? – Yes, the
inspection on staff operates in the structure of the police, which
deals with staff investigations. According to the results of these
investigations, in 2003 26 workers of the police were punished, 2
workers were dismissed from work. There were no cases of bribe
taking, and there were no complaints. And if this is the case, we
will not disguise anyone. – And the last question, does the state
provide enough financial means for maintaining public order? – Our
budget is not very big, nevertheless, the authorities pay adequate
attention to our ministry. I mean equipment, transport. At the end of
the previous year we received two `Niva’ cars for operational work,
and before that due to the Ministry of Home Affairs of Armenia we
received 3 cars of the same type. On the whole, despite certain
drawbacks I am satisfied with the work of all the subdivisions of the
sphere. Although, of course, there happen both cases of theft and even
murder, we must confess that we live in an incomparably calmer (than
it could have been after the war and destruction) country. And this is
mainly due to the peace-loving and law-abiding nature of the people of
Karabakh. And doubtlessly due to the fact that even during the
military actions the authorities did not let the situation go out of