Today it is two years since the “Electric Yerevan” civil movement was pressed down through use of force.
When dispersing the protests against the increase of price for electricity on June 23, 2015 on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan the police demonstrated unprecedented ferocity against the media representatives as well. 13 journalists and cameramen from various media outlets underwent physical violence, and the professional activity of another 11 was illegally impeded through deliberate breaking or damaging of the photo- and video-cameras, seizing the memory cards and destroying the shot materials, as well as through other means.
According to the information by the special investigative service, 22 mass media representatives were acknowledged as victims in various criminal cases filed on these incidents. However, as of today only four police officers have been charged and indicted. And this is in case, when the Internet is flooded with video footages which evidently show several dozens of law enforcement personnel conducting violence.
It is noteworthy, that the aforementioned four persons were charged after the large-scale violence used in Sari Tagh and Khorenatsi Street in Yerevan on the night of July 29-30, 2016, when the RA President publicly apologized to the journalists. Whereas, if the June 23, 2015 cases were properly investigated and all the guilty persons were charged, it is possible that a year after the cruel attitude by the police towards the media representatives would probably not be repeated.
We the undersigned, once again expressing our resentment in relation to actions by the law enforcement on June 23, 2015 on Baghramyan Avenue, Yerevan, and from July 17-39, 2016 in Khorenatsi Street and in Sari Tagh, and stating that the measure undertaken for the investigation of those events and their results are inconsistent with the scope of the violence, reconfirm our demand addressed to the authorities to demonstrate impartial attitude towards the filed criminal cases, to ensure their effectiveness and sanction all the guilty, irrespective of the position they hold.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE -ARMENIA
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB