Reporters Without Borders

Journalists beaten up covering opposition demonstration

Published on Wednesday 7 April 2004.
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Reporters Without Borders has protested after at least four journalists were attacked covering an opposition demonstration. One of them was also briefly arrested for photographing police setting up roadblocks ahead of the rally.

Police failed to intervene as a group of unidentified men in civilian clothes targeted the journalists during a demonstration organised by the Azgayin Miabanutiun party (National Unity) in Yerevan on 5 April, the international press freedom organisation complained.

The thugs attacked and injured Anna Israelian, of the daily Aravot, Onik Grigorian, photographer for Armenia’s investigative journalists’ website, Hetq online, and Tigran Babaian, cameraman for privately owned Kentron TV.

The attackers damaged their equipment, as well as the camera of Haik Gevorgian, working for the opposition daily Kaykakan Jamanak. A film crew from Shant TV had their videotapes snatched.

Before the rally began, Gevorgian was arrested and held for one hour at Ashtarak, 50 kms from the capital, where he had gone to picture police setting up roadblocks, placed the authorities said, to maintain public order.

Expressing concern about the arrest, Reporters Without Borders pointed out that the cameraman was only doing his job.

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