The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) and the Yerevan Press Club (YPC) express their indignation concerning the February 3 detention of journalist Hayk Gevorgyan, responsible for publishing the “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily.
Observation of the information given by the Armenian police and the “Haykakan Zhamanak” concerning the incident having caused this detention allows to conclude that the choice of detention, as a precautionary measure, has no legal basis.
The argumentation of the police concerning the necessity of detention is not convincing: Hayk Gevorgyan had been wanted by the police for more than ten days, despite having kept on fulfilling his professional duties and having dealt with various state authorities, including the Government of Armenia. Moreover, during those days he communicated with the police investigator trying to find out in what status he had been called to the police for interrogation. The journalist had failed to receive any explanation. Meanwhile the police insist that it had notified Hayk Gevorgyan properly. It seems that deliberate conditions were created in order to apply detention towards the journalist as a precautionary measure.
Comparing the fact of detention and a number of critical publications in January-February by Hayk Gevorgyan about the head of the Armenian police Vladimir Gasparyan, the assumptions of the “Haykakan Zhamanak”, according to which the choice of such precautionary measure is due to the professional activity of the journalist, seem to be realistic.
We demand to change immediately the precautionary measure applied towards Hayk Gevorgyan, set him free and conduct an impartial and transparent investigation of the incident. We also call upon the political power of the country to take effective measures in order to exclude ungrounded persecutions, accusations and pressures towards journalists.