On June 8, the police detained “Adekvad” NGO’s 11 members. According to the police, the citizens reported that they were intimidated by the representatives of the Adekvad walking on the street, so to figure the situation out, the police detained the representatives of “Adekvad” NGO.
Since the police actions followed the government session during which the Prime Minister Pashinyan refered to people in black and gave the law enforcement officials instructions to deal with them which makes clear that the dissent is targeted at the highest level in Armenia. The detention of the “Adekvad” NGO members and bloggers is nothing else but the call of the PM to target the people in black, by labeling them, there may be an intention of formation of an atmosphere of fear for the people who prefer black in the community. There were a number of well-known bloggers among the “Adekvad” NGO that had been detained, so this obviously targeted action could not be anything but interpreted as an attempt to silence a free speech, even by means of a power methodology. It is alarming that the government delegates the RA Police to suppress dissent and neutralize its political opponents.
Particularly alarming may be considered the fact that there was only a single alarm on 11 detainees, which indicates that a systematic work has been carried out aimed at detaining as many people as possible from the “Adekvad” NGO and bloggers.
We call for immediate cessation of the policy of detaining citizens with false accusations and to remain loyal to the spirit and content of legal acts arising from RA laws and international commitments. In the name of freedom of expression, we are ready to provide the representatives of “Adekvad” NGO and bloggers with the necessary legal support both on Armenian and international platforms. We urge the accredited diplomatic representations and international organizations in Armenia to properly assess the targeted policy of the Armenian authorities aimed at violating freedom of expression.