Reporters Without Borders Condemns Violence against Journalists in Armenia


photoYEREVAN (news.am) — Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the violence used by police against journalists while dispersing a demonstration in Yerevan on the evening of 29 July. At least 12 journalists were injured.

Plainclothes police armed with batons and steel bars hit three reporters with the Armenian service of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty who were clearly identified and who were filming the events. Reporters and cameramen with A1+, CivilNet, Arachin Lratvakan, Panorama.am, Lragir.am and the Russian TV channel Life were injured by smoke and stun grenades fired by the police.

“Clearly identified journalists carrying cameras were deliberately targeted,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.

“Some continued to be beaten after promising to stop filming. Such behavior must be punished so that it does not recur. We urge the authorities to end the impunity for police violence against journalists and to give the police clear instructions not to do it again.”

The police have promised to conduct an investigation in order to shed light on what happened. Last year, 21 journalists were the victims of abuses in similar circumstances but only one investigation was carried out into all the various individual cases and no one was ever charged. Incidents of this kind often recur in Armenia.