Statement

On April 22 the police again used violence and hindered the lawful professional activities on Baghramyan Avenue. This time the targets were the cameramen of the news website 1in.am Narek Barseghyan and Sevak Soghomonyan who were covering the protest march of We Are the Masters of Our Country Civil Initiative to the president’s office.

In the result of the attack the camera of 1in.am website, the live broadcasting device and the telephone of the editorial office were damaged. The cameramen were forcibly pushed into the police car, limited their mobility and hindered their activity. The staff of 1in.am introduced themselves and showed their editorial office cards but it was not helpful.

On April 24 the reporters demanded an account for the aforementioned cases from Chief of Police Vladimir Gasparyan, noting that the handwriting of the police does not change. The chief of police first retorted: “You turn yellow, you lose your shade…” And then in answer to the remark of Siranuish Papyan, the journalist of 1in.am “we cannot see your reforms” he replied in a way that is not appropriate for a high-ranking official: “And I cannot see a woman in you…”

We the undersigned organizations, expressing our indignation with the aforementioned events, demand that:

–       The  Chief of Police of Armenia Vladimir Gasparyan take action to compensate for the damage caused to 1in.am, apologize publicly to the journalist Siranuish Papyan, and refrain from insult against journalists from now on;

–       The Office of the Prosecutor General treat this statement as a crime report and hold responsible the policemen who misused their authorities during the aforementioned events.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER (FORMER INTERNEWS)

ASPAREZ CLUB OF JOURNALISTS

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA

JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE NGO

JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS NGO

GORIS PRESS CLUB

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