On February 23, another “Press Club” show went on the air of “Yerkir Media” TV company. The cycle is produced under Yerevan Press Club project, supported by the Open Society Institute. The guests of the program host, YPC President Boris Navasardian were dramatist Karineh Khodikian and Geghetsik Grigorian, Associate Professor of Armenian State University of Economy. The discussion centered on the issues of gender equality in Armenia.
The next “Press Club” show will be aired on “Yerkir Media” on March 2, at 21.15.Tweet
On February 24 in front of the RA Procuracy an incident with the free lance journalist Gagik Shamshian occurred. According to Shamshian, he was shooting on the street before the beginning of the session of the RA Procuracy Collegium, when a young man came up to him, abusing and demanding to stop shooting and to get away. Afterwards he started to beat the journalist, then entered the building of the Procuracy. Gagik Shamshian also told YPC that despite the injuries, he waited till the end of the Collegium session and attended the press conference of Aghvan Hovsepian, RA General Prosecutor. As to the journalist, he announced about the crime at the press conference, and Aghvan Hovsepian asked him to address to the RA Procuracy with a notice on the attack. Gagik Shamshian also noted that right after the assault he called the RA Police on the hotline. Shamshian ensures that he had time to take a picture of the assaulter, while the incident should have been recorded by the camera fixed at the entrance of RA Procuracy.
Later, while Gagik Shamshian was receiving medical assistance, it turned out that his eardrum was injured.
On the same day, on February 24, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, Yerevan Press Club, Internews Media Support NGO, Media Diversity Institute, “Asparez” Journalist's Club of Gyumri, Vanadzor Press Club, and Goris Press Club released a statement, which emphasized that Gagik Shamshian “was taking photos of the high-ranking officials of law enforcement bodies, who were arriving to the Collegium, i.e., was on professional duties. Meanwhile from the way the assaulter freely entered the Procuracy, he may be directly related to the law enforcement bodies”. “The public can expect that another case of violence against a journalist will be followed up. And if the attacker is not revealed and punished this time, we will have all the reasons to believe that the law enforcement bodies are simply refraining from disclosure of such crimes”, the statement of seven journalistic associations stated, in particular.
On February 25 “Aravot” daily published the photo of the young man, which, as to Shamshian, has assaulted him. In the report on the incident near the Procuracy “Aravot” also noted that, according to the newspaper’s information, “the assaulter is an investigator of the General Investigative Department of the Police”.
Kentron Procuracy of Yerevan instituted criminal proceeding on Articles 164 (“Impeding the legitimate professional activities of journalist”) and 118 (“Beating”) of the RA Criminal Code. The investigation is conducted by Kentron Police Department.Tweet
On February 23 RA Constitutional Court delivered a judgment on the application of the founder of “A1+” TV company, “Meltex” LLC, regarding the compliance of Point 1 of Article 204’28 of the RA Civil Procedure Code (“The competences of the court in case of revision”) with the Main Law. As it has been reported, in the application, lodged on August 19, 2009, “A1+” founder stated that the abovementioned Point enables the court to confirm the previous judgment on a case without securing the filed suit on reconsideration on the ground of new circumstances. Namely this provision made a basis for the RA Court of Cassation to decline on February 19, 2009 the demand of “A1+” founder to reconsider the two rulings of the Court of Cassation (of February 27 and April 23, 2004) on suits of “Meltex” LLC versus National Commission on Television and Radio under new circumstances in the case. A new circumstance became the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of June 17, 2008, recognizing the refusals to grant ”A1+” a broadcast license to be a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, i.e., of the right of the applicant to freely impart information and ideas. At the hearings, started on December 15, 2009, the Constitutional Court mentioned that in September 2009, in another case, Point 1 of Article 204’28 was already recognized contradicting to the Main Law (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 11-17, 2009).
At the session of February 23 the Constitutional Court affirmed that Point 1 of Article 204’28 of the RA Civil Procedure Code contradicts the Main Law. According to the delivered judgment, the founder of “A1+” can reapply to the Court of Cassation with the same demand - to reconsider the two court rulings of 2004 on suits of “Meltex” LLC versus NCTR under new circumstances in the case.Tweet
The RA Special Investigative Service dismissed the investigation on the case of violations at precinct 10/19 of Yerevan, made on January 10, 2010 (day of elections to the vacancy formed in the RA National Assembly). On January 14, RA Central Electoral Commission has cancelled the elections at precinct 10/19, due to numerous violations. On January 19 the RA Procuracy informed that proceedings were instituted on Points 3 and 5 of Part 2 of Article 149 of RA Criminal Code (“Obstructing the realization of electoral right, the work of electoral commission or the implementation of the authorities of election participants”).
As it has been reported, among the violations at the precinct 10/19 incidents with journalists were also observed. Thus, the representatives of one of the candidates for deputy prohibited the free lance journalist Gagik Shamshian and Anush Martirosian, correspondent of Armenian Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, from shooting and interviewing. After a verbal skirmish the journalists were forced out of the polling station. Later, on that day the same people forced Hayk Gevorgian, observer of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, and Gohar Vezirian, correspondent of “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” newspaper, out of the polling station (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 14-21, 2010).
As Mr. Gevorgian, the special investigator of RA Special Investigative Service, informed YPC, the inquiry of the violations at precinct 10/19 was dismissed for failure of proof.Tweet
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Editor of YPC Newsletter - Elina POGHOSBEKIAN