The three incidents that took place during the past few days and are connected with the opposition Armenian daily “Haikakan Zhamanak” are viewed by Nikol Pashinian, the Chief Editor of the newspaper, to be premeditated and purposeful.
Last Sunday, on June 24, the iron bars at the entrance to the editorial office were broken and the office was burglarized. The offenders stole a digital camera, a recorder, a few dozens of CDs, other office supplies. In the early morning of June 25 an attempt was made at one of the founders of the daily, the leader of opposition party “Zhoghovrdavarakan Hayrenik” (“Democratic Motherland”) Petros Makeyan, who was not injured by pure chance. On Tuesday, June 26, the bus-atelier of free-lance journalist Vahagn Ghukasian, collaborating with “Haikakan Zhamanak” daily. In this atelier Mr. Ghukasian made and sold different leather goods, and this was his main source of revenue.
According to the Chief Editor of the daily Nikol Pashinian, the three incidents are interrelated and are directly or indirectly targeted against his edition. “At first I thought that the burglary at our office is a simple crime. But the other two incidents that followed convince me of somebody’s design behind it. Remarkably, the wards of the law arrived only an hour and a half after we informed the police of the robbery, and the investigators appeared even later. As to the journalist Vahagn Ghukasian, he has already received threats by the telephone after publishing a number of analytical articles on the case of the terrorist attack at the Armenian Parliament on October 27, 1999. Ghukasian was able to fix the number of the caller and notified the Police Department of Shahumian District, Yerevan. This, however, yielded no results. Remaining unpunished, the offenders attempted bolder steps”, Nikol Pashinian announced to Yerevan Press Club.