Statement of Journalistic Organisations

July 28, 2017, Yerevan

A year ago, the two-week dramatic events related to the raid of the Sasna Tsrer group on Police Patrol Service on Khorenatsi Street of Yerevan reached it culmination on the night of July 29 to 30, 2016. As a result of the actions taken by the authorities, the militants were surrendered, and anti-government protests were suppressed with the use of tear gas, sound grenades and other special means.

In the course of these operations, 27 journalists and cameramen from various mass media were targeted by policemen and their supporters in civilian clothes, of which 19 were subjected to physical violence, and 8 came across other obstacles to conduct professional activities. In addition, all these were accompanied by deliberate breaking or damaging of media and video cameras by capturing their memory devices, destroying shots and so on.

The criminal case filed for these cases has lasted for a year and only the fact that 21 journalists and cameramen have been recognized as victims, and only 9 individuals have been charged with accusations shows that the steps taken by the Special Investigation Service do not comply with the scope of violence. The unacceptable low efficiency of the preliminary investigation also points to the fact that within the last 8 months only one person was charged. Meanwhile, video footage on the web and media archives explicitly exposes dozens of abusers.

We, the undersigned, once again recalling the President's apologies addressed to the journalists in connection with the events of July 2016 demand impartiality to carry out the preliminary investigation and bring to justice all responsible people, regardless of the occupied positions. Otherwise, we will have to state that even extensive violence and hindrances against journalists are concealed in Armenia.

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 

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