On November 20, the RA Criminal Court of Appeal rejected the complaint of Ani Gevorgian, correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” newspaper, appealing against the decision of the Special Investigation Service of Armenia to terminate the criminal case against the police officers involved in February 12 incident.
As we have reported, on February 12, 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 have 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, the 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. However, on June 24, the 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. She turned to the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan. The journalist challenged in the court both, the SIS decision to dismiss criminal proceedings against the police officers, and the refusal of Gevorg Kostanian, RA Prosecutor General, to check on what grounds the case against the policemen had been closed. On September 30, the Court of General Jurisdiction rejected Ani Gevorgian’s complaint.
On October 10, Ani Gevorgian appealed the ruling of the court of general jurisdiction at the Criminal Court of Appeal (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, October 13-19, 2014).