In the evening of November 3 an incident occurred between Nikol Pashinian, Chief Editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, who serves his sentence at “Kosh” penitentiary, and one of his cellmates. As it has been reported, on January 19, 2010 the court of general jurisdiction found Nikol Pashinian guilty in mass riots of March 1, 2008 in Yerevan, and sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment. On March 9, 2010 the Criminal Court of Appeal, by applying an amnesty on Nikol Pashinian, cut down his unexpired term of imprisonment by half. Both the defense and accusation parties appealed this decision at RA Court of Cassation, which revoked the appeals on May 5, 2010 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, May 7-13, 2010).
In his diary from prison, published in “Haykakan Zhamanak” on November 5, 2010, Nikol Pashinian presented the details of the incident. In particular, the cellmate told the journalist that “many reputable persons” don’t approve his articles, activities and conduct, and he has to stop the publication of his articles. According to Nikol Pashinian, after the verbal skirmish the cellmate attacked him. Meanwhile, during the 15 minutes of the scramble no one of the jailers came up to the ward, the journalist noted. This and many other facts indicate on the deliberate nature of the incident, stressed Nikol Pashinian.
In its statement of November 5, 2010 the RA Ministry of Justice noted that the dispute between the prisoners had an everyday nature, and the assertion about the ties of some “political forces” to the incident is far from reality.
More than twenty media heads, NGOs and journalists condemned the incident. The statement, released on November 4, 2010, contained a demand to the Armenian authorities to ensure the security of Nikol Pashinian, to consider and resolve the issue of his release pursuant to the PACE recommendations.