Armenian ombudswoman comments on arrest of fallen soldier’s mother

Armenia –

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Anahit Manasyan is following the situation surrounding the arrest of fallen soldier Zhora Martirosyan's mother, Gayane Hakobyan, and believes that detention as a measure of restraint should be imposed only in exceptional cases.

The Shengavit District Court of General Jurisdiction in Yerevan on Saturday approved the woman’s pre-trial detention for one month after she was charged with attempting to “kidnap” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s son, Ashot Pashinyan, sparking anti-government protests in the Armenian capital.

Referring to the statement issued by her office following Hakobyan’s arrest, the ombudsperson said it urged officials not to violate the presumption of innocence and asked law-enforcement authorities to issue a clear statement on the high-profile case.

She said the ombudsperson’s office visited the woman immediately after her arrest and detected some problems with her detention conditions in the Abovyan Penitentiary, which were resolved promptly.

"I can't address the issue of arrest in detail because the law forbids the ombudsperson to interfere in court cases," Manasyan said.