Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Witness says Armenian police tortured him to get testimony

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 20 May 2009
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Witness says Armenian police tortured him to get testimony, 20 May 2009, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
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May 20, 2009

Burned cars on the streets of Yerevan on March 2, 2008Burned cars on the streets of Yerevan on March 2, 2008

A third witness in the case against six Armenian opposition leaders for their roles in postelection protests in Yerevan last year has retracted his testimony after saying he was tortured and his life threatened, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Henrik Artenian told the court on May 18 that he "signed that testimony out of fear" after an investigator told him "if you want to stay alive you must write what we tell you."

Artenian was among witnesses who signed testimonies saying that Miasnik Malkhasian, one of the arrested oppositionists, organized and led the opposition protesters who clashed with security forces on March 1, 2008.

Ten people died in the violence.

Artenian asked Malkhasian to forgive him and said the police have been harassing him with summons to reaffirm his testimony.

"I said no," he told the court. "I said I will tell the truth."

Separately, two witnesses reaffirmed their testimony against one of the opposition leaders on May 19. The court hearing was held behind closed doors.

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

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