Regarding the second anniversary of the events on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan, during which over two dozen media representatives were injured
June 23, 2017 marked two years since the dispersal of the protest action against hike in electricity tariffs. The protests on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan were organized by “Electric Yerevan” civic movement. On June 23, 2015, when dispersing the protests, the law-enforcement bodies demonstrated unprecedented ferocity also against media representatives. 13 reporters and cameramen were subjected to physical violence, the legitimate professional activities of another 11 were obstructed: their photo and video equipment was deliberately smashed or damaged, memory cards were seized, the footage was destroyed, etc.
According to the RA Special Investigation Service, 22 media representatives were recognized as victims in the criminal case filed on these incidents. However, as of today, charges have been filed and rulings have been issued against only four police officers. Meanwhile, the Internet abounds with video materials, which evidently show several dozens of law enforcers committing violence.
It is noteworthy that the aforementioned four police officers were also charged after the large-scale violence used in Sari Tagh district and Khorenatsi street of Yerevan in the early morning of July 30, 2016. It happened after the RA President publicly apologized to the journalists. Whereas, had the June 23, 2015 events been properly investigated and all the perpetrators subjected to liability, the violent conduct of police officers against media representatives might not have recurred a year later.
We, the undersigned, once again express our resentment towards the actions of law- enforcement bodies on Baghramyan Avenue on June 23, 2015, as well as in Khorenatsi street and Sari Tagh district on July 17-30, 2016. We consider that the measures undertaken for the investigation of the above-mentioned cases and the results are inconsistent with the scale of violence committed. We restate our demands addressed to the Armenian authorities: to display impartiality and responsibility in the investigation of the filed criminal case and to subject to liability all the perpetrators regardless of their posts.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”
GORIS PRESS CLUB