Regarding the cases of obstruction of professional activities of media representatives
On May 2, 2022 during the disobedience actions organized by opposition forces in Yerevan the professional activities of a number of media representatives were hindered.
In particular, at the intersection of Proshyan and Baghramyan streets Sargis Hovhannisyan, head of the country’s State Protection Service, first behaved aggressively towards “Mediahub.am” correspondent Nare Gnuni by hitting the microphone in her hand, and then kicked the cameraman of the same website Arman Gharajyan and damaged the camera.
As a result of a clash between the police and citizens at the intersection of Sayat-Nova-Abovyan streets, “Yerkir.am” correspondent Lia Sargsyan started to feel bad and was given first aid.
On Heratsi street, the police officers punched “AntiFake.am” journalist Davit Fidanyan on the shoulder and obstructed his work, while Ishkhan Khosrovyan, another journalist of the same website, was shoved at the intersection of Khanjyan-Sayat-Nova streets.
We, the undersigned journalistic organizations, restate that amid any aggravation of the socio-political situation in the country, the attacks and pressures on journalists and cameramen increase as well. This is also often the result of a lack of professionalism by law enforcement officers and inability to communicate politely with people, including media representatives.
Strongly condemning the law enforcement officers’ attacks against journalists and cameramen performing their professional duties during mass protests, we demand from the government:
• to initiate an official investigation and hold accountable State Protection Service head Sargis Hovhannisyan and his subordinates who exceeded their power;
• to give appropriate instructions to SPS and the police so that the latter do not violate the rights of media representatives through their actions and treat them respectfully.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ CLUB “ASPAREZ”
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB