YPC Weekly Newsletter

2013


“HETQ” REPORTS THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE AND POLICE ABOUT THREATS TOWARDS ITS CORRESPONDENT

On May 5, “Hetq” (online publication of  Investigative Journalists NGO) published a "Report on Crime”. The reason for this was the video material “Is ‘Hetq’ Correspondent Ani Hovhannisian a Journalist or an Instigator?”, stored on May 3 on Nrnak.com. Nrnak.com also stressed that the video material is composed of episodes from various rallies, and this “dispels all doubts about the unethical conduct of the journalist (Ani Hovhannisian – Ed. Note)”.

“The true author of the video material is the RA Police, since police employees in uniforms with “02” filmed the journalist during the rallies. It is quite obvious how Nrnak.com got the episodes from the operative footage”, “Hetq” wrote in the “Report on Crime”.

Further, “Hetq” informed that it had requested the RA Special Investigative Service “to reveal how the footage of the police appeared on Nrnak.com website, and who is the real author of the threats made to “Hetq” reporter Ani Hovhannisian”. “It should be noted that Nrnak.com put a notice for its users that it will not store comments with names, while the comments threatening our journalist are not being taken down, but are being filled with new ones. The authors of some comments publicly threaten Ani Hovhannisian to cause serious physical injury, which is a deed proscribed in Article 137 of RA Criminal Code. Thus, we request to take urgent steps in this regard”, “Hetq” emphasized.

In the P.S. to the “Report on Crime”, “Hetq” informed that as of May 5 Nrnak.com had taken down all the comments to the video material, however, “Hetq” has “a print screen with the threatening comments, which can be provided to the Special Investigative Service upon necessity”.

On May 8, “Hetq” stored one more article “Reporter and Members of her Family are Being Threatened”, which informed that on the same day, at 15.42, Ani Hovhannisian “received a threatening telephone call from a cell number registered in Russia”: “The caller told her to keep her nose out of business that doesn’t concern her, otherwise it would wind up bad for her and her family members. When the reporter asked what he was talking about, the caller answered ‘you know what’. The caller added that he knows where Hovhannisian’s family lives and that all it would take was a phone call. ‘Otherwise, dear Ani, you or one of your relatives will wind up in a ditch’ he said”.

The article also contained the recording of the phone call. “Hetq” noted that it made a report on crime to RA Police with a mention of the phone number and provided a copy of the recording.

As we have reported, on April 27, in the center of Yerevan, Ani Hovhannisian was walking around the Northern Avenue, when she saw how two policemen were demanding from a street musician to pack up and come to the police station with them.  When the journalist asked the police officers why they want to take the musician to the police station, a civilian approached her. The man insulted the journalist and then rudely pushed her. The civilian was police officer Vardan Ghukasian. On April 28, referring to the Head of the RA Police PR and Information Department, “Hetq” reported that RA Head of Police Vladimir Gasparian dismissed Vardan Ghukasian from duties upon the results of an official investigation (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, April 26 – May 2,2013).