Announcement of Journalistic Organizations

July 21, 2016, Yerevan

On July 21, at 03.00-03.30 pm, journalist of «Iravaban.net» Gevorg Tosunyan was subjected to beatings by a few individuals on Tigran Mets Avenue, while conducting a legal professional activity. He was there to cover the activities of demonstrators and law enforcement agencies related to the attack on the police patrol service on Khorenatsi street.

In particular, the journalist made a video of the episode, when the activists and a group of men in the civilian clothes threw stones at each other. Gevorg Tosunyan assumes that they were police officers. They noticed that video is made, attacked the journalist, pulled him many blows, and violently seized the camera’s memory card. Gevorg Tosunian reported the incident to the police.

Two days before this incident, on July 18, while covering the same events a uniformed police officer intentionally hit Artak Hambardzumyan, reporter at the "Liberty" radio. When the reporter informed the senior officer at the scene, he cynically replied that there was no such thing.

On the first day of events, on July 17, the police officer who brazenly insulted and hit the correspondent of “4news.am” Artur Hayrapetyan also denied that it was an illegal use of force against the journalist, along with it continuing the violence. The police officer grabbed his phone, which was returned with the videos deleted. 

The correspondent of “Lragir.am” Tehmine Yenokyan also reported about destroying her videos and her work was also hindered.

We, the undersigned, expressing our indignation over the illegal acts of violence against journalists again, and reminding that atrocities committed against media representatives at Northern Avenue on June 23, 2015, are not forgotten, demand:

- The police immediately stop the unjustified and brutal use of force against journalists and various operators obstructing performance of professional duty in the country at this critical juncture creating favorable conditions for proper coverage of the events of public importance.

- The Prosecutor's Office makes criminal cases against the police by obstructing legitimate professional activities of journalists and illegal use of force.

Committee to protect freedom of expression

Yerevan press club

Public journalism club

Media initiatives center (former "internews")

"asbarez" press club

Institute of comprehensive information of Armenia

"Journalists for the future" NGO

"Journalists for human rights" NGO

Goris press club

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