Statement of Journalistic Organizations

July 4, 2017, Yerevan

The Malatia Division of the Yerevan Police Department decided to refuse to file a criminal case on threats and insults on Hripsime Jebejyan, Aravot.am correspondent, made on May 14 at the Yerevan City Council Election Day, at 7/46 polling station.

Arayik Gevorgyan, a member of the above-mentioned polling station commission, in response to the question why the voters showed him the ballot before putting it into the ballot box, shouted: “If you were a boy, I would give you a kite, you would know then, look at the puppy ...” All this was recorded and published in "Aravot.am" and in other media.

The biased approach of the police about the incident is obvious at least due to the fact that the conclusion was based on Gevorgyan's explanation that “he did not threaten anyone, only argued with high tone and made the statement, respecting that he argued with a woman.” In addition, it is bewildering that the police ignored Article 164 of the RA Criminal Code ("hindering the legitimate journalistic activity of the journalist") and referred only to Article 154 about the liability for violations of the voting process. The latter is less relevant to the incident and, most likely, is a good idea to conceal the problem.

Another fact is causing serious concern. Although the decision was made on May 20, it was not provided to the journalist and only due to his stubbornness and consistency and after her appeal to the Prosecutor General, the document was provided to Hripsime Jebejyan on June 30.

           Taking into account the above-mentioned, we, the journalistic organizations, demand:

  • Chief of the Police of the Republic of Armenia to bring the officials conducting the investigation of the incident at the polling station 7/46 on May 14 to criminal liability for ignoring the obvious facts, displaying bias and making a groundless decision,
  • The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia to initiate a criminal case in connection with the incident, to ensure proper control over it, providing an impartial investigation. 

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

“ASPARES” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA

“JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE” NGO

JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO

GORIS PRESS CLUB

 

 

 

Print Friendly and PDF