On April 5, 2019 after a public speech on transgender people’s rights during public hearings in the National Assembly of the RA, a new wave of hate speech and threats began against the president of “Right Side” human rights defender NGO transgender woman Lilit Martirosyan, her colleagues and LGBTIQ people. On 06.04.2019 Lilit Martirosyan reported to the Central Police Station of the Republic of Armenia that after her speech at the National Assembly of the RA, the distributor of SAS supermarket chain illegally published her personal information on her residence address on his Facebook page. On the same day, Lilit Martirosyan reported that she had received life threats and violent messages released through public live broadcast on a video by a member of the militaristic group called “Eagle 30 mahapart Ararat”.
On 16.04.2019 the investigator of the department of Central Police Station of the RA Mr. Voskanian, without taking into consideration all the obvious evidence of real threats, made a decision to reject the initiation of criminal cases on the provided materials. However, the abovementioned decision was made with violations violations of rights of Lilit Martirosyan are subjected to elimination.Particularly, the investigative body noted that the distributor of SAS supermarket Karapet Karapetyan stated that the Facebook page, which was disseminated by Lilit Martirosyan, does not belong to him and he has nothing to do with it, while Lilit Martirosyan sent a note to the police officers through viber application by her phone on the Facebook account of the distributor which clearly explicitly concludes that Lilit Martirosyan’s personal information was distributed on the internet without her consent. Moreover, the pictures of that person are available on that page, as it was reported by Lilit Martirosyan, that he can provide the residence address of Lilit to everyone. In this case, the investigative body was obliged to initiate a criminal case and make an objective decision in the course of the preliminary investigation, which was not implemented and it was rejected by the Police of the RA. However, it is evident that Lilit Martirosyan’s personal information was disseminated without the consent of the latter, i.e. at least there was a case of crime, and despite it was that person or other person, it should be identified only during the preliminary investigation.
As for the video and the life threats, the investigative body noted that they were not real and the criminal case was not initiated on the grounds of absence of proofs. The definition of real and non-real threats by the Armenian police can simply be regarded as a non-serious approach towards the rights of citizens of the RA since the threat of torture by any person may be considered as at least inhuman treatment in the best international practice (see Campbell and Cozanne v., § 26) and “in particular, fear of physical torture can be considered as psychological torture.
Numerous hate speech, threats, and revenge on internet and through videos directed to Lilit Martirosyan have caused her anxiety, fear for her own life and health, and the investigative body did not make enough effort to find out whether the facts in the circumstances are the evidence of these threats to be real to be perceived as such by Lilit Martirosyan.
Once again it should be mentioned that being restricted to a 10-days period for initiating a criminal case, the investigative body could not objectively evaluate it, moreover, the factual data was more than sufficient for initiating a criminal case and a carrying out a proper investigation during the preliminary investigation.
In this case, it should be noted that in case of refusal to initiate a criminal case based on the reports of Lilit Martirosyan by the investigative body, significant damage is caused to her legal interests.
Based on the above-mentioned and guided by Article 185 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia, “Right Side” human rights defender NGO demands the implementation of the state obligations on the protection of human rights. Right Side NGO has appealed the cases of termination to the Prosecutor’s Office and also reported to the RA Ombudsman to ensure the fair investigation and proper work of the Prosecutor office and the Police.