Orenburg policemen involved in Armen Sargasyan’s death get punished

Событие | Пресс центр

21 December 2011

Six operational investigators and two Orenburg Directorate of the Interior heads have been fired for grave service discipline violations.

We would like to remind you that on November 8, 2011 there was an incident which attracted a lot of public attention. Armen Sargasyan died in the operational investigation unit of the Orenburg Directorate of the Interior. Initially, it was said that he had died of a heart attack. The Orenburg office of the Committee Against Torture even picketed the local Interior Ministry in connection with the incident. At present, criminal proceedings are instigated against 4 suspects, two of them are arrested.

Head of the Orenburg Regional Interior Ministry Efrem Romanov ordered and performed a service check and assessed the conduct of perpetrators and their heads who had failed to effectively supervise their subordinates.

Upon the results of the check Efrem Romanov has decided:

To fire 6 workers of the 2nd operational investigation unit of the Orenburg Directorate of the Interior who directly participated in Armen Sargasyan’s interrogation for breaching the service discipline;

To fire the head of the 2nd operational investigation unit of the Orenburg Directorate of the Interior and his deputy for insufficient supervision of subordinates;

To demote the Orenburg police head (Orenburg Directorate of the Interior head) for the lack of supervision over the heads and staff of the   2nd operational investigation unit of the Orenburg Directorate of the Interior in terms of law observance and discipline.

To consider during the Professional Licensing Board meeting whether or not the aide (for human resources issues) of the Orenburg Directorate of the Interior head is qualified enough to occupy this position in connection with insufficient training of the personnel;

To hold the head of the Orenburg Directorate of the Interior and a number of high-standing officials of the Orenburg Regional Directorate of the Interior supervising operational investigations, as well as  educational activities, disciplinary liable. 

Besides, Efim Romanov has officially apologized to deceased Armen Sargasyan’s relatives for the unlawful actions of his subordinates. He has also promised that those responsible will be duly punished and preventive measures will be taken to ensure that such violations do not recur. 

It must be noted that such response to police abuse is a rare thing and is rather an exception. In this case we have witnessed prompt reaction of a superior to an offense committed by his subordinates which is, at the same time, consistent with international standards.