Journalism Community Demands Armenian Law Enforcement Acts Promptly in Case of Journalists Attacked at #Electric Yerevan.


Media organizations are concerned with the state of criminal proceedings in the case of the use of force and obstruction of the lawful professional activities of journalists covering the #ElectricYerevan sit-in on June 23.

The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, Yerevan Press Club, Media Initiatives Center [responsible for this site], Asparez Journalists' Club, Freedom of Information Center of Armenia, Goris Press Club, Public Journalism Club, Journalists for the Future, and Journalists for Human Rights issued a joint statement stating they consider unacceptable the superficial approach and tardiness shown by the Special Investigative Service (SIS).

"The extensive criminal case, which includes also the incidents associated with the affected demonstrators, is overseen by only one investigator. This testifies to law enforcers' inadequate treatment of the case. Of the 24 journalists and camera operators who were subjected to use of force or a variety of other obstacles by the police during the June events, six have not yet been examined in the two months since the criminal proceedings were launched," reads the statement [AM].

Media organizations are asking the SIS to immediately review the approaches and form a representative investigative team to investigate the criminal case objectively, while asking the Prosecutor General's Office to demonstrate proper control over the criminal case, to identify and hold accountable the persons who resorted to force and obstructed the work of journalists and camera operators.

Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) President Ashot Meliqyan expressed hope that a SIS investigative team that will identify the perpetrators will be established eventually.

"It seems it's already become a trend — those who violate the rights of journalists have not yet been held accountable. In terms of their scale and the volume of obstacles and physical violence against journalists, these incidents were truly unprecedented and surpassed the notorious incidents of March 1, 2008," he said. 

According to Meliqyan, the journalism community should follow this process very carefully and actively report problems. 

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