168: Prosecutor General weighs in on lawfulness of April 22 detention of then-MP Pashinyan, colleagues


Armenia’s Prosecutor General Arthur Davtyan has clarified the legal basis for detaining then-MPs Nikol Pashinyan, Sasun Michaelyan and Ararat Mirzoyan during the demonstrations in April.

Speaking during a parliamentary committee sitting, the Prosecutor General responded to a question from Yelk faction MP Edmon Marukyan, stressing that the MPs were detained on April 22 for organizing illegal rallies and marches.

Marukyan requested the Prosecutor General to present the legal grounds for detaining the lawmakers, stressing that Pashinyan was basically kidnapped because no one was aware of his whereabouts.

Marukyan also noted that after the detention, motions have been filed to the parliament to strip the MPs of immunity. Marukyan asked to clarify on these motions.

Davtyan stressed that a detainee is entitled to a phone call to notify on his whereabouts.

“At the same time, the investigator in charge of the proceedings has the right to delay this call up to 12 hours at the agreement of his superior. As far as I know the necessary deadlines have been maintained in this issue”, the Prosecutor General said.

He clarified that the Prosecutor General’s Office had filed a motion to the parliament on stripping from immunity only in regard to Nikol Pashinyan, but this was followed by the deputy PM’s request on retracting the motion. “After this I addressed a letter to the Speaker of Parliament and asked to remove this issue from the agenda”, he said.

On April 22, opposition MPs Nikol Pashinyan (incumbent PM), Ararat Mirzoyan (incumbent deputy PM) and Sasun Michaelyan, were detained by police during a rally in Yerevan, despite their immunity. The lawmakers were released a day later. The same day, PM Serzh Sargsyan resigned and Pashinyan was subsequently elected PM on May 8

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