STATEMENT

September 24 2018,Yerevan

On September 23, on the day of extraordinary elections to Yerevan City Council, at the polling station 8/05, Norik Yeranyan, chairperson of the district commission, hit Ani Davtyan’s hand, journalist from “1in.am” news site telling her “take your microphone aside”. In an interview with the CPFE the journalist informed that besides that one of the persons escorting Arthur Manoukyan, parliamentarian from PAP, pulled the cameraman by the shoulder and disturbed the videotaping. We express hope and demand that the law-enforcement bodies will investigate the incident in detail and charge those to blame.

Fortunately, this is the only incident during the elections to the Yerevan City Council when the rights of the media employee have been violated. This is an extremely important fact if we take to consideration that only a year ago on the day of elections to the local council 2 cases of physical violence and 5 other cases of impeding professional activity where recorded.

The CPFE also expresses its concerns on the incident at the Media center on September 22, the day of silence, when the “Ankakh ditord”(independent observer) alliance was presenting the initial results of its monitoring, and the representatives of the “Prosperous Armenia” party tried to impede that process.

According to our assessment, on the one hand those who were carrying out observer mission violated the requirement of the day of silence by introducing their results on the eve of the election as it could affect the orientation of the voters; on the other hand the aggressive behavior by PAP parliamentarian Vahe Enfiajyan and his supporters was unacceptable, when they attacked in the studio started arguing with the panelists. We think that the authorized bodies will pay attention to this incident as well.

Despite this, CPFE states that overall these elections qualitatively differed from all the previous elections, also in terms of creating favorable and unrestrained working conditions for the journalists and media outlets. CPFE attaches importance to the dissemination of this precedent in upcoming elections.

 

Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression

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