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Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Assaults on journalists continue in Armenia

Only a week ago Lusine Barseghian of the [opposition] “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily was briefly hospitalized after being assaulted by unknown men as she left her parents’ apartment block in Yerevan in the morning:

The journalist, whose newspaper boasts the highest circulation in the country, linked the attack to a recent series of articles by her that scrutinized the allegedly illicit activities of influential individuals close to the government. Those included the chief of President Serzh Sarkisian’s staff, Hovik Abrahamian, tycoon Samvel Aleksanian and the controversial mayor of Yerevan’s Erebuni district, Mher Sedrakian. All three men have repeatedly been branded as crime figures by “Haykakan Zhamanak” and opposition politicians.
No news that anyone was charged for this attack.

And here we are... It was emerged today that Hrach Melkumian, current Yerevan Bureau chief of Radio Liberty was assaulted last night in central Yerevan. Physical assault was accompanied by verbal attacks towards Radio Liberty.

New (old) kind of 'freedom' is establishing itself in Armenia - freedom from punishment for assaulting journalists. Impunity rules!

9 comments:

aram said...

Can a person called Tigran Kocharyan be behind it?
Here what I found in ditord.wordpress.com blog today. It is about Lusine Barseghyan but never the less he justifies the beatings. I urge teh Armenian police to question this dodgy character.


Тигран Кочарян Says:
August 15, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Հայերեն ասեմ
Մեր մոտ կան մի քանի իրենց ժուռնալիստ կոչող մարդիկ,որոնք բացի ծեծ ուտելուց ուրիշ բանի արժանի չեն: Բազմաթիվ անգամներ առնրվել եմ այդ կատեգորիայի հետ ու հասկացել եմ,որ նրանց միակ նպատակը ծեծ ուտելն է ու այդ ծեծից սարքել համաշխարահին վայնասուն:
Ընդհանրապես,ներկա Հայաստանում աճել է որոշ սերունդ ու համար ծեծուջարդը դառել ա ՓիԱռ-ի միջոց,ընդ որում նրանք իրենց այդ նպատակասլացությամբ արդեն հոգնեցնում են:
Ամեն մարդը պատասխանատու է իր արածների ու ասածների համար,ու ծեծ ուտելը մտնում է այդ տրամաբանության մեջ:
Իհարկե,կնոջը ծեծելը վայել չէ հայ տղամարդու համար և այդ պատճառով ես ել եմ դատապարտում Լուսինեի ծեծողներին:

the link:
http://ditord.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/attack-on-armenian-journalist-again/#comments

artmika said...

While I do not want to discuss individual bloggers on Unzipped, I find that comment (in Armenian) appalling. That’s exactly the type of mentality which contributes to routine violence in our everyday life.

artmika said...

Apparently, Armenian authorities got enough of Mher Sedrakyan, whose alleged involvement in assault on journalist Lusine Barseghyan was cited in my post above.

RFE/RL reports :

The controversial mayor of a Yerevan district affiliated with the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) announced his impending resignation on Tuesday following fresh media allegations about his involvement in politically motivated violence.

Mher Sedrakian unexpectedly decided not to seek reelection as mayor of the southern Erebuni district less than a month after being endorsed by the HHK’s governing body, headed by President Serzh Sarkisian, for a local election scheduled for September 7.

Sedrakian filed for registration as an election candidate last week. A spokesman for the Central Election Commission (CEC) said he gave no reason for his subsequent decision to drop out of the race.

Sedrakian, who has long held sway in Erebuni and been repeatedly branded a crime figure by the Armenian opposition, could not be reached for comment. HHK representatives likewise declined a comment.

It was therefore not clear if his resignation is connected to periodical reports in the opposition press implicating the Erebuni mayor in violent attacks on opposition activists and other illegal practices. He was most recently accused of possibly having a hand in the August 10 assault on a correspondent for the opposition daily “Haykakan Zhamanak.”

The journalist, Lusine Barseghian, was beaten up by unknown men following a series of articles that scrutinized the allegedly illicit activities of Sedrakian and other influential individuals close to the government.

While acknowledging that he was angered by Barseghian’s articles, Sedrakian strongly denied any involvement in the attack. “I don’t beat women or dead persons. I would just shave that girl’s hair and that would be it,” he told the “Aravot” daily.

Sedrakian’s exit leaves only one candidate in the Erebuni race: the district’s Deputy Mayor Armen Harutiunian. The latter is also affiliated with the HHK.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be at all surprised if this Mher takes his place next to Jhangiryan and the other cast-away-mafiosos reborn-as-oppositionists supporting the Levonites.

This is the natural devolution in Armenian politics.

Haik said...

Anonim
The only place that the current opposition (after coming to power) will send this person is the jail. This was publicly announced many times.

As for Jhangiryan. Don’t forget that Jhangiryan was a member of the governing coalition of bandidocracy. When he rebel against it he was sent to jail.

When justice is restored any citizen of Armenia will be able to start a case against any wrongdoing.
Now it is up to you whether to join to the struggle for justice or not.
The course of the events fully depend on you, me and any individual.

Anonymous said...

Haik - When you say "justice restored", what exactly are you referring to?

The soviet era of justice? The HHSh era of justice? Kocharyan's era?

Sad to say, but there hasn't been "justice" for decades if not centuries in this part of the world.

And for the record, only a fool would think that supporters of Ter Petrossyan, Vano Siradeghyan and other criminals are interested in creating justice. more likely is the creation of "just us."

Haik said...

Justice will be restored when people's voice is herd and counted that is, free and fair elections take place.
Don’t underestimate us, such a thing happened in our history,- the first presidential and first and second parliamentary elections.
In old ages only a fool could believe that slavery would be abolished. 100 years ago only a fool could believe that child labour would be abolished and 8 hours work established. A person without a vision and dream for a better life is a not much different from a sheep.

You called Levon Ter-petrossian a criminal, Dont you think that if he was one he would have been sent to jail by Dashnaks, SS or RK.

Anonymous said...

So now you trust Dashnaks, SS or RK to be your judges?

Or is this an implicit admission that Vano (cheered by the delirious crowds in the opera in Feb 08) is a criminal?

Why did the opposition have to get hijacked by Levon? This was the biggest victim in the election season. Now instead of a normal, evolving opposition, badly needed in Armenia, we have a collection of former thieves, failed leaders, and individuals whose stolen loot is running low and are sniffing around for more to steal.

Haik said...

Anon
"So now you trust Dashnaks, SS or RK to be your judges?"
No I don't, but they are the de facto governing coalition and therefore could create fabrication if they had some material to hang on.

If you and they claim that Levon is a criminal and by not taking him to court you not only commit crime but also a libel.

As for Vano such a fabrication has already been created. When justice is restored he will be given the opportunity to clear his name.

re your last paragraph, bring facts otherwise you are committing a libel which is punishable by law.

What you are doing now is close to a Stalin era anonimka. Characteristically to a low form of a creature. So this is the last time I try to take you seriously.