184 advocates did not attend court sessions today. They have announced one day strike as a sign of protest of being searched at the entrance to the courts on known cases. “Attitude towards advocates showed how much the government values us, we are considered to be a weak link with whom you can do everything you want. It is an insulting inspection. For 15 years, I go to court and now it turns out that I may possibly have a grenade,” mentions lawyer Tigran Atanesyan.
The lawyers, gathered to access the situation, announce that the discriminative attitude towards advocates is also the result of inaction of the Chamber of Advocates. They think that the Chamber does not support them in any way. ” If the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates, from the very outset, expressed his position and carried out the main function of the Chamber of Advocates, that is the protection of advocates’ rights, this problem would be quickly solved. But what happened instead? They started to discuss wether it is an inspection or an examination and, thanks to the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates, it was called an examination,” says advocate Mushegh Shushanyan.
The Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates disagrees. He acts according to the law and tries to solve the issue without extreme steps. “I am really honest, saying that I do not consider it as an inspection. In the case of inspection the controller would take everything from your begs and pockets without asking,” says Ara Zohrabyan, the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates.
Yesterday,the Council of Court Chairmen issued a document marking the list of things a lawyer has no right to bring into the session hall. This document seems funny for advocates.
“It is just a text for the Comedy club. Can you imagine when the whole world laughs at the fact that no one can enter Armenian Courts with knitting needles. We probably have such habit, don’t we?” mentions tigran Atanesyan.
Advocates’ further actions will still be discussed; they do not rule out the possibility of continuing the strike.