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 Tuesday, June 18 2024 12:09
Marianna Mkrtchyan

IPI concerned over violence against journalists  

IPI concerned over violence against journalists  

ArmInfo. The International Press Institute (IPI) has issued the following statement:

"The IPI global network expresses grave concern after more than 10  Armenian journalists were injured by police forces while covering the  June 12 protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol  Pashinian. We urgently call for a thorough investigation into these  incidents and urge the authorities in Armenia to ensure a safe  working environment for all media professionals. 

"On June 12, 2024, clashes erupted in front of Yerevan's Parliament  between police and protesters opposing the border demarcation deal  with Azerbaijan and demanding Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's  resignation. Pashinyan was set to address Parliament at the time.  According to reports, security forces used stun grenades after  protesters attempted to storm the Parliament building and breach  police barricades, throwing rocks and bottles at the police. At least  10 journalists and camera operators were injured during the clashes  and dispersal. 

 

"Among those injured were two crews of the ABC.am. According to ABC  journalist Nane Hayrapetyan, media workers from both crews sustained  injuries. Nane Hayrapetyan and cameraman Arman Gharibyan were hurt  during the clashes, while journalist Aghvan Asoyan and camera  operator Edik Malakyan were injured when stun grenades were deployed.  Vazgen Yetumian, a camera operator with the News.am online news  service, had his leg broken, and two other camera operators, Narek  Hayrian of Civilnet and Hovsep Hovsepian of Armlur.am, and  Mediahub.am journalist Nare Gevorgyan also sustained injuries.

 

"Nine Armenia-based press freedom organizations, including Yerevan  Press Club and the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE)  issued a joint statement condemning the actions of law enforcement  agencies, describing them as "use of excessive force," and demanding  accountability for those who targeted accredited journalists  indiscriminately or damaged equipment.

  "Authorities must promptly conduct a thorough and impartial  investigation into the events of June 12.  Regardless of the nature  of the protests, any use of excessive force or violence against  journalists who are doing their jobs is unacceptable. Anyone  responsible for using excessive force must be held accountable," IPI  Deputy Director Scott Griffen said.

 

"Armenia's road to democracy has been bumpy, yet in recent years the  press freedom situation in the country has significantly improved.  Reforms to media regulations and the decriminalization of grave  insults represent some of the positive steps. However, the media  scene remains highly polarized, and access to information is often  restricted."  

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