STATEMENT

On September 1, 2017 at the Court of General Jurisdiction of Shengavit Administrative District of Yerevan, where the trial of Zhirayr Sefilian, leader of “Founding Parliament” and others was being held, the professional activities of A1+ Internet TV Company correspondent Robert Ananyan and “A1+” cameraman Bagrat Saroyan were obstructed.

During the court session civic activist Vardgez Gaspari staged a protest action against the public defender. The bailiffs, tried to impede the protest through the use of force. Noticing that the representatives of “A1+” were filming what was happening, one of the bailiffs blocked the camera, twisted Robert Ananyan’s hands and removed him and the cameraman from the courtroom. Whereas, the trial was open to the public with only one restriction of not filming the testimonies of the witnesses. In fact, the bailiff, acted on his own initiative and abused his power. He has not been identified yet, but he can clearly be seen in the video published on “A1+” website.

This is not the first time, when restrictions are unlawfully imposed on the rights of journalists. This incident is unacceptable also for the fact that it is related to the coverage of a trial of extensive public interest.

Based on the above-mentioned, we, the undersigned, demand:

– Judicial Department to identify the bailiff, which abused his power, and subject him to liability to ensure that such behavior towards journalists is eliminated;

– The presiding Judge Tatevik Grigoryan to exercise due control over the actions of the bailiffs and considering the public significance of the current trial, eliminate any restriction on the activities of media representatives.

On September 1, 2017 at the Court of General Jurisdiction of Shengavit Administrative District of Yerevan, where the trial of Zhirayr Sefilian, leader of “Founding Parliament” and others was being held, the professional activities of A1+ Internet TV Company correspondent Robert Ananyan and “A1+” cameraman Bagrat Saroyan were obstructed.

During the court session civic activist Vardgez Gaspari staged a protest action against the public defender. The bailiffs, tried to impede the protest through the use of force. Noticing that the representatives of “A1+” were filming what was happening, one of the bailiffs blocked the camera, twisted Robert Ananyan’s hands and removed him and the cameraman from the courtroom. Whereas, the trial was open to the public with only one restriction of not filming the testimonies of the witnesses. In fact, the bailiff, acted on his own initiative and abused his power. He has not been identified yet, but he can clearly be seen in the video published on “A1+” website.

This is not the first time, when restrictions are unlawfully imposed on the rights of journalists. This incident is unacceptable also for the fact that it is related to the coverage of a trial of extensive public interest.

Based on the above-mentioned, we, the undersigned, demand:

– Judicial Department to identify the bailiff, which abused his power, and subject him to liability to ensure that such behavior towards journalists is eliminated;

– The presiding Judge Tatevik Grigoryan to exercise due control over the actions of the bailiffs and considering the public significance of the current trial, eliminate any restriction on the activities of media representatives.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA

PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB

“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”

“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”

GORIS PRESS CLUB

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