On the early morning of November 11 a new incident occurred with Nikol Pashinian, Chief Editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, who serves his sentence at “Kosh” penitentiary. (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.) According to Nikol Pashinian, at about 2.30 two men in black and in masks attacked the journalist, who was lying on the plank-bed, and started to beat him. When Nikol Pashinian called for help, the strangers left the ward. The jailers, who came up to the ward, took the journalist to the front office, where he had a medical examination. Soon the members of the Public Monitoring Group over the RA Penitentiary Institutions by the RA Ministry of Justice visited the journalist. The details of the incident were described in Nikol Pashinian’s diary from prison, published in “Haykakan Zhamanak” on November 12, 2010.
In the statement of RA Ministry of Justice of November 11, 2010 the incident was assessed as “an insatiable desire to create an illusion of violence against Nikol Pashinian in any way”.
On November 16 an action to support Nikol Pashinian was held in the center of Yerevan. The action was attended by the heads of media and NGOs. The statement signed by them, specifically, urged the Armenian authorities to take appropriate measures for ensuring the security and inviolability of Nikol Pashinian, as well as to settle the issue of his release. The same demand was voiced on November 18 at a press conference of media heads, which took place in Yerevan.
It is noteworthy that a week ago, in the evening of November 3, another incident happened between Nikol Pashinian and one of his cellmates, which was also made public (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, November 5-11, 2010).