Wednesday, April 21, 2010

20 April, 2010, 10:56 pm

Relatives of Vahan Khalafyan, 24, who died last Tuesday under questionable circumstances in the Charentsavan Police Department, are sure that the police ruling of suicide is a cover-up for his death at the hands of police.

Khalafyan along with three others was held on suspicion of burglary.

As the Police statement says, "being present at the office of the prevention department chief of Charentsavan police, Khalafyan took a kitchen knife from the shelf and stabbed himself in the abdomen.

Khalafyan was taken to the Charentsavan Medical Center by ambulance, where he died."

However, Khalafyan's mother stated that there were cross-shaped cuts on his chest, as well as two holes on his abdomen, and the whole body was covered with bruises. Yet on Saturday, April 17, RA Police Chief Alik Sargsyan stated that Khalafyan was questioned calmly in the Police department, and that no violence was committed against him.

Sargsyan also stated that Khalafyan had been stabbed only once.

In spite of the Police Chief's allegations, a criminal case on Khalafyan has been filed.

Human rights defender Arthur Sakunts, Head of Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office, says he has learned that Khalafyan and others was abused by police.

"This is evidently a murder case, it is also obvious that physical violence has been committed against other people taken to the Police department, too," Sakunts told ArmeniaNow.

He also reported that they are going to follow up the developments of the case, and currently they are waiting for the conclusion of forensic examination.

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