In Armenia, a person can be forcibly checked into a psychiatric hospital by a police officer’s decision. One widely covered incident occurred in 2016, when a woman was forcefully taken out of the empty fountain at Yerevan’s Republic Square and delivered by an ambulance to the Nubarashen psychiatric ward. Next week another woman repeated the action, and once again, police were quick to threaten to hospitalize her, but changed their tune after making a few phone calls. This short film documents this second repetition, or re-enactment of the incident.
At around 11 am Tuesday, a woman got into a non-functioning fountain at Republic Square and sat in it silently. She refused to answer the questions of armed police officers who had arrived at the scene shortly after and was soon dragged out of the fountain by force. Eyewitnesses demanded that the officers did not touch and did not use force against the peacefully sitting woman, to which the police countered by saying that “it’s for us to decide; the citizen has to be taken to a psychiatric hospital.”