STATEMENT

At the Malatia police station of Yerevan Department of the RA police a decision was made to refuse to file a criminal case on the threats and insults towards Hripsime Jebejyan, journalist from “Aravot.am” at the polling station 7/46 on May 14, on the day of elections to the Yerevan local council.

We should remind that Arayik Gevorgyan, member of the commission at the aforementioned polling station, in reply to the journalist’s question “Why are the voters showing him the ballots before throwing them into the ballot box?” he shouted at her and said, “If you were a boy I would break your jaw, then you would see, look at the whiffet…” All these was videotaped and published at “Aravot.am” and in other media outlets.

The proof of the police officers partial approach is at least the fact that basis for the conclusion was Gevorgyan’s explanation, that “he did not threaten anyone, only argued in a loud voice and made that statement with respect, that a woman was standing in front of him”. Besides, it is strange that the police officers, while ignoring Article 164 of the RA Criminal Code (“Impeding a journalist’s professional legitimate activity”), referred only to Article 154, which stipulates charges for the violation of the voting process. The latter is relating to the incident very little, and most probably is convenient to conceal the problem.

Another fact causes serious concerns: although the decision was made on May 20, it was not provided to the journalist, and only due to her persistence and consistency, after turning to the RA Prosecutor General, on June 30 the document reached Hripsime Jebejyan.

Taking into consideration the aforementioned, we, the media organizations claim from:

  • RA Chief of Police to sanction the official persons who investigated the incident that took place at polling station 7/46 on May 14 of this year, for ignoring evident facts, for being partial and for making an ungrounded decision,
  • RA Prosecutor’s Office to file a criminal case in relation to the given incident, to properly monitor it while ensuring impartial investigation.

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

 

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