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Pashinyan Justifies Osipyan Appointment: “He’s Not Corrupted”

In a May 11 Facebook post, newly-elected Armenian Prime Minister explains why he has appointed Valery Osipyan as Armenia’s new Chief of Police. Many have voiced their concerns regarding the appointment, arguing out that Osipyan, as Yerevan Deputy Police Chief, was the government’s point man when it came to quelling public protests, often employing strong-arm tactics against peaceful demonstrators.

Here are his main arguments:

  • According to the law, the Police Chief must be someone with the rank of Major or higher either from police department or an ancillary agency.

  • Osipyan is not “corrupted”

  • Osipyan is not a member of any clan

  • Pashinyan describes Osipyan as someone “who has done the dirty work of the police in the streets” for many years because he doesn’t enjoy the clan/acquaintance protection that other police officials do.

  • Osipyan is a “known quantity”. Pashinyan says that ever since becoming politically active in 2007, Osipyan was always there in the streets opposing him. Thus, Pashinyan argues that he knows and understands the man.

  • Pashinyan says doing away with corruption and clan ties in the police are priority issues.

  • Pasinyan stresses the need for tolerance and reconciliation, especially between the public and police, calling for the removal of the “barb wire that now separates the two”. Public confidence in law enforcement must be restored.

  • Pashinyan says he’s instructed Osipyan to resolve the following issues in the very near future: defense of human rights, reduction of criminal activity, stop the practice of bribe giving, put an end to the police proclivity to issue fines/penalties for every minor infraction.

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