During a week of protests in Yerevan, and as part of the authorities’ actions to counter them, journalists and media outlets have also been targeted for attacks.
On April 19, near the RA Government 3rd Branch Building, people wearing civilian clothing physically attacked Tirayr Muradyan, a journalist from the Union of Informed Citizens NGO. In his testimony, the attackers were police officers, who upon noticing that they were being featured by the reporter, subjected him to violence.
On April 18, for having photographed the armored equipment on the capital’s Baghramyan street, by order of the Deputy Chief of Police Hunan Poghosyan, Narek Kirakosyan, journalist from Armtimes daily was prosecuted.
Late on the evening of April 17, near the Mashtots Avenue – Tumanyan intersection in Yerevan, a group of people attacked the editor-in-chief of the news website Factor.am, Arevik Sahakyan and cameraman Gevorg Martirosyan, who had been covering the ongoing events, and used violence against them.
On April 16, at the Baghramyan Avenue police station, as a result of the use of special measures, correspondent of the website 168.am, Ani Keshishyan and Factor.am’s cameraman Hovhannes Sargsyan were injured. The latter’s coworker’s, Vrezh Margaryan’s, video camera and live broadcast device were also damaged.
On April 14, a group of demonstrators led by Nikol Pashinyan broke into the Public Radio building, broke the door of the studio and demanded immediate live broadcasting.
If there are already two detainees in a criminal case based on the Public Radio incident, than in other cases law enforcement officials are taking their time, even when it is fairly easy to identify the identity of the attackers through photos and videos. This creates grounds for qualifying the activities of the law-enforcement agencies as being discriminatory.
Taking into consideration the tense socio-political situation, we, the undersigned, demand:
– From the law-enforcement agencies: to promptly disclose and prosecute those who have committed attacks on journalists, and those who hinder their professional activities.
– From Armenian police, and those persons working under its protection wearing civilian clothing: to express tolerance and respect the work of representatives of the media, to eliminate unreasonable restrictions placed on the activities of journalists and cameraman, as well as to abstain from statements made to the media which may further aggravate the situation.
-From the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Armenia: to adequately monitor the actions of the police and investigative bodies.
We also urge the participants and supporters of the My Step and Reject Serzh initiatives to show tolerance and restraint towards the media and journalists.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS CLUB
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER OF ARMENIA
INSTITUTE OF COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION – ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB
ARMENIAN HELSINKI COMMITTEE
“RULE OF LAW” NGO
“HUMAN RIGHTS POWER” NGO
HELSINKI CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY-VANADZOR
OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS ARMENIA
PUBLIC AGENDA NGO
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