On February 25, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression was informed about a hindrance to the legal professional activities of a journalist.
The director of the “Ijevan Studia” TV, Naira Khachikyan informed the CPFE that on February 21, at about 5 o’clock pm she and the cameraman of the “Ijevan Studia” TV Armen Asatryan had gone to the Ijevan municipality in order to cover the meeting of the community council. Artak Khachatryan, the member of the community council approached them in the reception room and demanded rudely to spread a disclaimer over the reportage prepared by Naira Khachikyan, which had been broadcast on February 16 by the Armenian Second TV Channel. It was mentioned during the reportage that the snow had not been removed from Ijevan streets properly. During their argument another member of the community council, Vardan Ordinyan came up and attacked upon Naira Khachikyan and Armen Asatryan. Cursing both of them, the member of the council turned them out of the municipality building.
Unfortunately, it is not the first time that an official misbehaves towards a journalist and hinders to his legal professional activities. It may be unpleasant for the local authorities, when the shortcomings of their work are pointed out. However, won’t our authorities eventually learn to be tolerant towards criticism and show restraint and comprehension?
As the director of the “Ijevan Studia” TV reports, the members of the community council still continue to threaten.
The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression has sent an official letter to the Vice-premier and the Minister of Territorial Administration, Armen Gevorgyan, in order to inform about the incident. A letter with a similar content has been sent to the RA Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan requesting to consider the letter to be a report about crime (Article 164: Hindrance to the legal professional activities of a journalist).
The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression will watch the development of the events concerning the incident.