Armenian Ombudsman Calls For Probe Into Alleged Pressure On Arrested

ARMENIAN OMBUDSMAN CALLS FOR PROBE INTO ALLEGED PRESSURE ON ARRESTED MP

ArmInfo News Agency (in Russian)
July 30 2008
Armenia

Armenian Ombudsman Armen Harutyunyan has told top police officials that
MP Myasnik Malkhasyan, who was arrested following post-election riots
in early March, has signed testimony under physical and psychological
pressure, Arminfo news agency reported on 30 July.

Malkasyan has been charged with attempting to seize power and
organizing mass riots. Malkhasyan said he wrote the testimony under
duress, according to Arminfo.

The MP was also deprived of the right to contact a lawyer and inform
his family about his whereabouts, the agency said. The ombudsman’s
letter said that officers of the Police department to fight organized
crime arrested Malkhasyan on the night of 1-2 March and kept him in
the department for the following 24 hours.

Harutyunyan sent the open letter to the chief of the Police, Maj-Gen
Alik Sargsyan, and the head of the Special Investigation Service,
Andranik Mirzoyan, asking them "to carry out a line-of-duty
investigation and to hold the guilty officials accountable in
connection with the stated facts".

The ombudsman also sent a letter to Prosecutor-General Aghvan
Hovsepyan asking him to consider moving Malkhasyan to a hospital or a
penitentiary department appropriate for receiving medical treatment,
as a recent medical examination has revealed a high level of sugar
in Malkhasyan’s blood, Arminfo said.

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