YPC Weekly Newsletter

2005


POLICE TRIED TO IMPEDE THE JOURNALISTS

On December 6 in Nor Hachn city of Kotayk region the police attempted to impede
the professional activities of the correspondent of “Aravot” daily Naira Mamikonian
and photo correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun” newspaper Gagik Shamshian.
As YPC was told by Naira Mamikonian, the purpose of the visit of journalists
to Nor Hachn was to see the situation in the town before the elections of the
head of municipality on December 11. Before entering the city the taxi carrying
the journalists was stopped by the state traffic police. The police, according
to Naira Mamikonian, were taking their time until a car with state number plates
arrived on site. A young man in civilian clothes went out of the car. Having
talked to the traffic policemen, the young man left, and the taxi driver was
permitted to continue his route.

Arriving in the city, the journalists started to make shootings of the land
plots that was once, allegedly, allocated to the families of the periled Karabagh
war volunteers, and then re-allocated by the city administration to senior officials
from Yerevan. During the conversation with one of the locals, Naira Mamikonian
said, his house was intruded in by the young man mentioned above and called
the photographer for “a talk” outside. Soon the representatives of the city
police department drove up, started inquiring what the journalists were doing
and tried to take away the photo camera. Naira Mamikonian called the Deputy
Head of the RA Police Hovhannes Varian and told him about the occurrence. Journalists
were taken to the city police division, were the attempts to
find out the purpose of the visit and what was photographed continued. Having
kept the journalists for 40 minutes, the policemen released them, apologizing
and saying there was a misunderstanding, they were looking for a car with similar
numbers.

On December 7 “Aravot” published a story by Naira Mamikonian on the visit to
Nor Hachn with the picture of the land plots. The piece was accompanied with
an editorial afterword where a reminder was made that impeding the professional
activities of journalists is a criminal offence.