Yesterday, on December 7, 2016, Rubik Hakobyan, deputy of RA National Assembly, used violence against Vahe Makaryan, correspondent of “Hraparak” daily. In the parliament in the presence of the colleagues accredited to the National Assembly, the correspondent turned to the deputy asking a question regarding his former membership to ARF-Dashnaktsutyun and his current relationship with the party. The question annoyed the deputy. Vahe Makaryan’s second attempt to ask a question to the deputy was unsuccessful either and grew into a verbal sparring. Rubik Hakobyan said that he would teach “manners” to the journalist, to which the latter replied he could teach that himself to the deputy.
Then the deputy offered the journalist to talk in private, and the latter agreed. According to Vahe Makaryan, as the discussion continued, Rubik Hakobyan punched him in the eye, using foul language. The bruise is clearly seen in the video published by the media, in which the journalist describes the incident in detail.
In the telephone talk with us the deputy justified his actions by Vahe Makaryan’s impudent behavior.
It is not the first time, when politicians, high-ranking officials and other well-known figures, on hearing an awkward question, lose self-control and permit themselves behavior unbefitting their position.
We, the undersigned, demand from:
– RA NA deputy Rubik Hakobyan to immediately apologize to Vahe Makaryan and henceforth refrain from violence and indecent behavior towards journalists;
– RA NA Committee on Ethics to discuss the actions of the deputy and release its decision on the incident.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”
GORIS PRESS CLUB