On September 30, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan rejected the complaint by Ani Gevorgian, correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” newspaper. The journalist challenged the decision of the RA Special Investigation Service to dismiss the criminal case against police officers who obstructed her journalistic activities and used force against her. In addition, the complaint challenged the rejection of her appeal to Armenian Prosecutor General Gevorg Kostanian, wherein she demands from the RA Prosecutor’s Office to check on what grounds was the case against the policemen dismissed.
As we have reported, the incident dates back to February 12, 2014. Ani Gevorgian and Sargis Gevorgian, cameraman of iLur.am, were detained in Yerevan downtown when covering a public campaign of the Armenian National Congress, and were taken to the police station where they been held for about four hours. Police officers seized journalists’ cameras and mistreated them. In particular, the head of Kentron Police Department of Yerevan slapped Ani Gevorgian on the face. The journalist turned to Special Investigation Service (SIS) to report the crime. The statement reported three episodes: the attempt by policeman Vardan Gevorgian to forcibly take away the camera from Ani Gevorgian during the public action; the seizure of the memory card from her video camera at the police department; the actions of Artak Poghosian, the head of the Kentron Police Department, who slapped the journalist on the face and seized her phone. On February 25, SIS instigated criminal proceedings under Clause 2 of Article 164 (“Impending the legitimate professional activities of a journalist by an abuse of power on part of a state official”) and by Clause 2 of Article 309 (“Abuse of power, accompanied by violence, use of weapons or special means”) of the RA Criminal Code. On June 24, SIS terminated the investigation of the case due to absence of corpus delicti. Ani Gevorgian challenged this decision in the RA Prosecutor’s Office but the claim was rejected. On August 18, she turned to the court. The hearings on the case started on August 29 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 1-8, 2014).