YPC Weekly Newsletter

2006


PRESSURE ON GAGIK SHAMSHIAN CONTINUES

On July 18 several dozens of Yerevan Nubarashen community residents held a
“protest action” in front of the local administration against the freelance
correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun” and “Aravot” newspapers Gagik Shamshian.
The rally participants held banners with insults to the address of the journalist
and appeals to move out of the community and “not to cast shade” on it.

As it has been reported, on July 12 Gagik Shamshian, dwelling in Nubarashen,
was harassed by the relatives and subordinates of the community head Mher Hovhannisian
because of an article published on July 11 in “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun” (the piece
told, in particular, about two relatives of the Nubarashen head, charged with
a robbery of one of Yerevan banks). The journalist was threatened, abused, his
recorder, mobile and wallet were taken away. The next day the harassment continued:
the power supply at his flat was interrupted and his telephone line was cut
off (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, July
7-13, 2006
). On the basis of the Gagik Shamshian’s appeal the Prosecutor’s
Office of Erebuni and Nubarashen of Yerevan instituted criminal proceedings
on Article 164 (“Impeding the Legitimate Professional Activities of Journalist”),
part 1 of Article 176 (“Robbery”) and part 3 of Article 258 (“Public Disorder”)
of the RA Criminal Code.

As YPC was told by Gagik Shamshian, during the “protest action” he was at work.
Upon his return home, he found his door with curses written all over, the banners
noted above were placed next to it and shreds of “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun”, “Aravot”,
“Haikakan Zhamanak” and other newspapers were scattered around.

According to the information that Gagik Shamshian has, prior to the action,
for a few days the employees of the communal administration were going to the
local households, convincing people to sign the address to the head of Nubarashen,
expressing their reluctance to live in the same community with Gagik Shamshian.

Gagik Shamshian also informed that the power supply of his flat resumed on
July 14, and the phone connection was restored by the technician that he invited.
According to the journalist, some of the people involved in the incidents of
July 12 were summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office for an interrogation; however,
no charges have been introduced as yet.