Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Appeals Court Sustains 9 Year Sentence of Hayk Kyureghyan

Armenia’s Criminal Appeals Court today let stand a September 15 decision by a lower court sentencing Hayk Kyureghyan to nine years behind bars for firing an air pistol in the direction of police on July 12, 2014.

Kyureghyan remain seated during today’s hearing, a sign of contempt for the courts in Armenia he regards as corrupt.

“They are a tool simply to shut down people. Authority in the country has been usurped and naturally, so have the courts,” said Kyureghyan.

The defendant also had no lawyer by his side today, arguing it was pointless.

Kyureghyan had been charged with hooliganism and using force against a representative of the state (RA Criminal Code Articles 258 and 316) in an incident that occurred on July 12 , 2014 during a trial of Shant Haroutyunyan and friends.

On that day, Kyureghyan climbed atop a car and shot an air pistol off several times in the direction of the police as a sign of protest over the way political trials are handled in Armenia.

(Shant Haroutyunyan and tens of other activists were detained in November 2013 before the start of a march in Yerevan entitled “The Revolution of Values”.)

Hayk Kyureghyan’s father told reporters that the family does not expect justice from Armenia’s judicial system but that they have to go through all levels before taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

“Hayk also wanted to show, yet again, that the courts are bankrupt and that Armenia has no real judicial system and that it is merely a tool for the regime to terrorize the people with,” said Armenak Kyureghyan, the defendant’s father.