29 Feb 2016 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 19 May 2015 Armenia

Lack of Effective Investigation into Police Violence and Obstruction of Journalist’s Work

Source of threatState
CategoryImpunity
Partner AEJ
No state reply yet
Partner AEJ
Ani Gevorgyan, a reporter for the newspaper Chorrord Ishnishkhanutyun, was subjected during 2014 to two incidents of obstruction of professional journalistic activity and use of excessive force by police while covering news events. A year later her demands for investigations and for justice remain unanswered. In one case a named officer tried to seize her camera and she complained of receiving violent treatment in a police station. In a second case, when covering a demonstration, the journalist alleged that several police officers in a Yerevan police station used force against her resulting in injury. Over 20 other citizens also filed complaints against the police on that occasion. In the first case Gevorgyan’s demands for a proper investigation were rejected in the Court of First instance and in the Court of Appeal. She now awaits a decision on her appeal to the country’s highest court, the Court of Cassation. In the second case her complaint was also disallowed; her appeal to the lower court failed and she has been obliged to take her case to the Court of Appeal. This case raises serious concern that assaults against a journalist and obstructions to her work may be allowed to take place without being fully and properly investigated. Unprofessional or discriminatory treatment of journalists by law-enforcement authorities is conducive to a climate of impunity, for which state authorities bear responsibility.
Updates
03 Feb 2016
Journalist Ani Gevorgyan’s complaints concerning excessive use of force by police, obstruction of her work and lack of redress for her complaints was rejected by the Court of Cassation. After the exhaustion of all attempts to obtain a remedy through the Armenian justice system, on 3 December 2015 her case was referred by her lawyers to the European Court of Human Rights.
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