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14 Oct 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 14 Oct 2019 n° 124/2019 Armenia

Attack on Online Portal Hayeli.am

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
A group of four government supporters attacked the offices of the online portal Hayeli.am, highly critical of the Armenian authorities, on 5 October 2019. They threw eggs and posted offensive posters at the entrance of the offices of the publication in Yerevan, the capital of the country.

The four suspects are all known as ardent supporters of Armenian Prime Minister and were protesting against a headline published by the news website the previous week, considered pro-Azerbaijani: “Aliyev’s belated but ‘strong’ response to Pashinian”. The article was about Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s public reaction to a statement on Nagorno-Karabakh made by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

“They are lucky because their door is closed. We want to put all this stuff into their office”, said one of the perpetrators, and another one demanded that the media outlet should be closed.

The police launched an investigation into obstruction of the professional and legal work of journalists, which is a criminal offence in Armenia. The four men were interrogated and released with a signature bond imposed as a measure of restraint.
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03 May 2018 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 03 May 2018 n° 36/2018 Armenia

Violence Against Reporters During 11 Days of Protests in Armenia

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner RSF AEJ
Between 13 and 23 of April 2018, during the protests in Yerevan that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, several journalists were deliberately targeted by police. Alina Sargsyan, a reporter for the CivilNet.am news website, was hit by a police officer while she filmed police arresting demonstrators. Azatutyun TV producer Anatoly Egiazaryan was beaten by several policemen while filming a demonstration being dispersed.

Police damaged the cameras of the Factor.am reporter Vrezh Margaryan’s and Radio Azatutyun reporter Nayra Bulgadaryan, to prevent them from filming.

Tatul Hakobyan reporter for CivilNet. am was violently arrested while filming the attempted arrest of the protest movement’s main leader, Nikol Pashinyan. Public radio reporter Liana Egiazaryan was injured by a stun grenade in similar circumstances. Ani Keshishyan of 168.am and Factor.am cameraman Hovhannes Sargsyan were injured by non-lethal weapons.

Ani Grigoryan of CivilNet.am, Arus Hakobiyan of Radio Azatutyun, Tehmine Yenokyan of Lragir.am and Artak Hulyan of Shant TV were attacked by plainclothes policemen.

On 19 April, Tirayr Muradyan, a reporter for the Sut.am news website, was badly beaten by plainclothes police officers. The next day, the police bundled him into a car to prevent him from covering a demonstration on a motorway near Yerevan.

Factor.am editor-in-chief Arevik Sahakyan, his cameraman, Gevorg Martirosyan and public radio reporter Vruyr Tadevosyan were beaten up by unidentified individuals in different parts of the capital. In some cases, policemen looked on without making any attempt to intervene.
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Jul 2015 n° 36/2015 Armenia

Journalists Beaten and Arrested while Covering Protest Demonstration

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Partner AEJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Media reports supported by individual statements show that 13 journalists and camera operators covering the police dispersal of a sit-in protest against electricity price increases in Yerevan on 23 June 2015 were subjected to gratuitous violence at the hands of police or other security officials; and 11 journalists were detained by police. Several journalists stated that they were attacked or detained despite identifying themselves as media workers and showing their press accreditation. David Davtyan, a reporter with Armenia TV, stated, as reported on MEDIA.am that after he showed his press badge he was attacked by 4 persons, whom he identified as uniformed police and police in civilian clothes. Davtyan suffered a wrist injury. Nikolai Torosyan of Panarmenian.net said he was violently knocked down, beaten and kicked by two police officers; later he received an apology from a policeman after showing his press badge. Video cameras and other equipment belonging to media workers were also confiscated or broken.
State replies
Follow-ups
23 Jun 2015
Statement by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media: 'Safety of journalists must be ensured at all times, OSCE Representative says, following attacks on journalists in Armenia'
23 Jun 2015
Statement of the Human Rights Commissioner on protests in Armenia : media should be able to work in a safe and free environment
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 20 Apr 2017 n° 43/2017 Armenia

Armenian Journalist Attacked While Covering Parliamentary Elections

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ RSF
Sisak Gabrielian, a journalist for the Armenian service of Radio Free Europe (RFE), was attacked by activists of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), the ruling party in Armenia, while covering parliamentary elections in Yerevan on 2 April, 2017.
The journalist claimed that after he noticed that many voters at a polling station in Yerevan’s Kond quarter were heading to a local campaign office of the HHK before going to a nearby polling station to vote there, and that some of them were leaving with money in their hands, he was forcibly removed from the office. Some of the HHK activists hit him in the face and out took away his mobile phone, which he was using to film the conversation.
State replies
29 May 2017
Reply from the Armenian authorities (Police and the Special Investigative Service of the Republic of Armenia)
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17 Apr 2018 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 05 Oct 2017 n° 114/2017 Armenia

Armenian TV Station Editor Assaulted While Reporting on Road Building Project

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner AEJ
Partner AEJ
On the evening of 28 September 2017, Narine Avetisyan, the chief editor of Lori television station in Vanadzor, Armenia's third largest city, was violently assaulted while filming the asphalting of a road in heavy rain. Local media and the Helsinki Citizens Assembly (HCA) Vanadzor human rights network reported that Tigran Nazaryan, the head of the Shinplus construction company, and some of his colleagues, assaulted Narine Avetisyan, throwing her to the ground and seizing the mobile phone she was using to film the work. Reports say the mobile phone was later found with the video images of the asphalting work deleted. HCA Vanadzor and the Yerevan Press Club have called on state prosecutors and other relevant authorities to investigate the case diligently and to bring those responsible to justice.
Narine Avetisyan has reportedly been attacked five times while on various journalistic assignments. In the first four cases she was reporting on corruption-related stories involving local officials and no perpetrators were so far identified or charged.
State replies
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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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