Threats to Journalists: Armenia
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- Reporters with RFE/RL’s Armenian service suffered three attacks and attempts to prevent them from reporting on a January 10, 2010 parliamentary by-election in central Yerevan. Anush Martirosian was barred from precinct 10/19, and unknown persons tried to break her microphone. The precinct chairman also demanded that she show her passport before entering the polling place, although denied her entry in the end. Video journalist Karine Simonian was confronted by a group of young men while trying to report from the campaign headquarters. The men blocked her access to the premises and one threatened to break her camera, whichcaused her to stop reporting. The Armenian General prosecutor’s office asked police to investigate the attacks, and contacted Martirosian to give evidence about the incidents.
- In July 2009, RFE/RL Armenian service correspondent Satenik Kaghzvantsian, a regional correspondent from Gyumri who identifies herself as Satenik Vantsyan on the air, told the Service Director that the son of the city’s mayor sent a message through various intermediaries threatening her with harm if she doesn’t stop filing critical reports about the city and the mayor. Satenik reported on the eve of the Yerevan mayoral elections that workers in Gyumri’s city council were bussed to Yerevan to cast votes for incumbent mayor Gagik Beglaryan, who was the ruling party’s candidate. Satenik said that she noticed on several occasions that the SUV belonging to Gyumri mayor’s son had been following her.
- RFE/RL Armenian Service Correspondent Karine Simonian was pushed away by the police in June 2009, while she was covering a demonstration in front of the Presidential office. The demonstrators (mainly journalists) were demanding the release of jailed Armenian newspaper editor Arman Babajanian on June 26, the third anniversary of his arrest.
- Hrach Melkumian, Acting Yerevan Bureau Chief, was accosted on the evening of August 18, 2008 on his way home from work by an unknown assailant who cursed RFE/RL and denounced the radio’s programs while beating him. Armenian President Sarkisian deplored the attack and called for an investigation.