A year past 29 July 2016 when violence was used against reporters in Sari Tagh district in Yerevan no serious punishments have been applied. Over this year only 9 persons were indicted and the official number of injured reporters is 21. The chair of the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression Ashot Melikyan told Lragir.am that recently he has made an inquiry with the Special Investigative Service and they informed that over the past year only 9 people were indicted. In addition, in the first half of this year only one person has been indicted. “We think that the steps undertaken by the Special Investigative Service are not proportional to the volume of that violence. It is clear that 9 accused persons is too few in this case, especially that we saw in the videos that dozens of police officers and plainclothes people were carrying out those actions,” he said. 8 of those 9 people who were indicted were civilians, Ashot Melikyan says. A situation has occurred when the entire responsibility is put on those civilians, no names of policemen are mentioned but everyone knows that they acted under the aegis of the police. “The footages prove that but the message states that they are civilians. Usually, when police officers are charged, they write so; for example, in the case of Electric Yerevan, we know that all the four who have been indicted are police officers. I think that they tried to move the police officers to the side, not to hold them responsible,” he added. Melikyan says the footages show that the police acted against reporters, the plainclothes did not use special means against the demonstrators and reporters. According to testimonies, the actions were planned, the reporters were flocked into a specific place and then the special means were used. So, according to the expert, it is obvious that organized violence was used against reporters. “Not bearing any responsibility frees the hands of the police in this case. The same style was observed during Electric Yerevan and the events in Sari Tagh. The injured reporters always say they understand from the meetings that the investigation is titular, there is no serious interest in finding and holding responsible all those guilty. This is the reason why there is no public confidence in this criminal case. After all, despite having so much evidence and so many witnesses, only one person was indicted in the first half of this year, this speaks of the style and approaches,” Ashot Melikyan said.
There Was Organized Violence against Reporters
- Law - 21 July 2017, 22:56