On March 2, opposition daily newspaper reporter Kristine Khanumyan opened her article with the following sentences: “On the first day of spring the authorities congratulated people with truncheons and electroshock devices. From now on for me, March 1 is the day of truncheons and electroshock devices. People will not forget that.”
The 24-year-old journalist, a native of Karabakh, says that the first shots reminded her of the night sky of Karabakh capital Stepanakert under shelling.
“For me all that is perhaps déjà vu. I had lived through those scenes, but I didn’t imagine that I could deserve such a fate in my native country years later -- that my country’s troops or police could shoot at me,” Kristine says. […]
“There was a little bit of despair inside me and a bit of anger when I heard indecent words against Karabakhis from people. But not against those people who were saying that. All this is the consequence of the policy carried out by our authorities. I understood, I said I was a Karabakhi, they saw me among their ranks. And I know many Karabakhis who participated in the rallies if they came to town on business. I am not the only one,” she says.
The reporter quotes from memory the words of a high-ranking police officer addressed to her: “Go to a safer place.”
“I simply said to him that I spent my childhood in the basements of Stepanakert under shelling, no one was telling me to go to a safe place. And now I am told to go, it is dangerous there, here in my country,” she says, adding: “The sky was bright with fired shots.”