YPC Weekly Newsletter

2009


CHRONICLE OF AUGUST

On August 6 in Gyumri the police impeded the activities of
picture crew of “Shant” TV channel of Gyumri who had arrived to cover the civilian
protest action at municipality building. The policemen led by the Head of Police
Department of Gyumri Shirak Shahnazarian took away the camera and moved it to
a place from where it was impossible to shoot. On the same day “Shant” TV channel
of Yerevan reported about the Gyumri incident on the evening edition of its
newscast “Horizon”. On August 11 Levon Barseghian, Board Chairman of “Asparez”
Journalist’s Club of Gyumri, addressed to the RA Prosecutor’s Office with a
communication about a crime. As Levon Barseghian told YPC, the Prosecutor’s
Office has informed that the communication was directed to the RA Special Investigative
Service.

On August 16 free lance journalist Gagik Shamshian received
a notice from the RA Prosecutor’s Office that the he has been pardoned illegally.
As it has been reported, the amnesty was applied on Gagik Shamshian, sentenced
to a fine in the amount of 350,000 AMD (about $ 950) for disrespect to court,
by the decision of RA Court of Appeal on July 15, 2009 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter,
July 10-16, 2009). It is noteworthy that the issue on the unlawful
pardon was raised by Gagik Shamshian himself, who addressed to the RA Prosecutor’s
Office on July 30. Shamshian considered that he should not have been pardoned
on the abovementioned case, as an amnesty had already been applied on him by
another case. Gagik Shamshian informed YPC that his claim about the unlawfulness
of the ruling of RA Court of Appeal of July 15 was submitted to consideration
by the RA Court of Cassation.

On August 21 at a press conference in Yerevan the Head of
RA Police Alik Sargsian notified that two young men from Etchmiadzin were arrested
on the case of attack on Nver Mnatsakanian, the author and the host of “Perspective”
program cycle of “Shant” TV company, made on May 6, 2009 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter,
May 9-14, 2009 and May
1-8, 2009
). According to the Head of RA Police, the detainees have confound
Nver Mnatsakanian with the father of their girl friend with whom they wanted
to have it out. Thus, there are no ties between the incident and “Grand Candy”
company. (The version about the implication of the company was moved out by
the press.) On the next day, on August 22 the comments of Nver Mnatsakanian
were released on web portal Report.am: “I deplore the state of our law enforcement
bodies. Maybe not publicly but at each opportunity I told more than once that
it was them and that I was chased by a “Niva” car owned by ‘Grand Candy’.”

On August 21 “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily informed that its previous
issue of August 20, 2009 was bought up by unknown persons from the newsstands
located in Kentron and Erebuni communities of Yerevan. Some of the subscribers
did not get the issue. According to the daily, the action was conditioned by
a piece about high-ranking employees of RA Prosecutor’s Office, published in
“Haykakan Zhamanak” on August 20.

On August 27 in Vanadzor the representatives of Lori Regional
Department of RA Service of Compulsory Execution of Court Acts impeded the activities
of Larisa Paremuzian, correspondent of “Aravot” daily and “Hetq” online publication.
The journalist arrived to Vanadzor on the alarm of residents who informed that
representatives of the Compulsory Execution Service resort to violent methods
while evicting them from their temporal habitations. Noticing that Larisa Paremuzian
is taking photos and interviewing the residents, the compulsory executors took
away her recorder and photocamera, and started to push her. As soon as Larisa
Paremuzian presented her journalistic identity, they returned the recorder and
the camera, though with deleted pictures. On August 31 RA Human Rights Defender
Armen Harutiunian addressed a letter to Gevorg Danielian, RA Minister of Justice,
suggesting to assign an internal investigation on the incident.
According to the information of RA Ministry of Justice of September 2, on the
ground of the ombudsman’s letter it is resolved to charge the RA General Compulsory
Executor Mihran Poghosian with an internal investigation on the incident of
Vanadzor.

On August 28 the court of general jurisdiction of Center and
Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan extended the term of preliminary detention
of Nikol Pashinian, Chief Editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, for two months
– till November 1, 2009. As it has been reported, Nikol Pashinian was announced
wanted within the criminal proceedings, instituted on the events of March 1,
2008 in Yerevan. On July 1, 2009 he voluntarily surrendered to RA Prosecutor’s
Office. “Haykakan Zhamanak” Chief Editor received a preventive punishment of
arrest (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 26 – July 2, 2009).
On August 5 RA Special Investigative Service notified about the end of the preliminary
investigation on part of the case regarding Nikol Pashinian.