“I wanted to live in a country where it is possible to create peacefully”: sculptor Sarkis Babayan

Sculptor Sarkis Babayan was seriously injured on the back and legs on April 16, 2018, on Baghramyan Avenue.

That day, he participated in the inauguration of his exhibition at 36 Isahakyan Street, after which he had to go to the Square of France to join the popular movement.

“I joined the movement because I wanted to live in a country where the state borders are protected, where education is of high quality, where high values are predominant and make life easier, where it is finally possible to create peacefully and to start a family,”Babayan says, reminding that on that day, the participants of the protest act headed to the National Assembly with their hands raised in the air.

“Near Aram Khachatutyan’s house-museum, the participants were welcomed by rows of police officers with barbed wires and blocking metal bars before them. The first shot was heard at about three o’clock,” Babayan says and continues, “at the third shot, I intuitively leant to the left and after a few moments I felt indescribable pain in my back and legs.”

Sarkis Babayan was wounded as a result of the explosion of the light grenade thrown by the police, but he felt it quite late.

“I felt my back was wet and after I checked myself and asked those around me, I realized that blood was flowing,” Babayan says, remembering the chain of events.

He was taken to the Surb Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center of Nor Nork to receive medical assistance.

A criminal case has been initiated. Unfortunately, no serious progress has been registered so far in the case of Sargis Babayan.

“Until now, it is incomprehensible by whom and by what order the police used disproportionate force. I find it difficult to answer what this silence is, maybe they are so busy that our turn has not come yet, I don’t know, but I am optimistic and I think our struggle will yield its results,”Babayan said.

Sargis Babayan’s interests in the framework of the above criminal case are represented bylawyer Tigran Yegoryan, the senior legal advisor of the “Europe in Law Association” (ELA). In his assessment, it is obvious that the police pursued the goal of causing the greatest harm to the participants of the gathering by diminishing their ranks, intimidating them and dispersing the assemby.

The interference by the police was unlawful and inadequate, as a result of which Sargis Babayan’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to be free from torture and inhuman treatment were violated. In this regard, except for the criminal case under consideration,ELA lawyers have also applied to the RA Administrative Court in connection with the police actions. In case of necessity as a result of the investigation of the case in the Administrative Court, they will also apply to the ECHR.