After Nikol Pashinyan’s press conference, July 25, the campaign of insults and harassment against some journalists, namely Aravot.am reporter Hripsime Jebejian and “NewDay.am” news site editor Ani Gevorgyan, is currently being projected onto Ani Gevorgyan, who is covering the upcoming Yerevan City Council Elections. After the press conference, threats, serious insults, harassment and calls for physical reprisal against the journalist on the Internet and in e-mails gained new momentum.
Thus, on September 11, Ani Gevorgyan, who was covering the campaign news about Tigran Avinyan, who heads the list of the “Civil Contract” party, was attacked by supporters of the ruling “Civil Contract” (CC) party, the most aggressive of them was a woman who was an ardent supporter of the CC party, who earlier also stood out for his non-normative vocabulary, threats and call for physical reprisals addressed to journalists.
The attack was filmed, published on the social network page of both the journalist and the woman who carried out the attack.
By the way, one of the videos shows how the supporter of the ruling “Civil Contract” party instructs the journalist Ani Gevorgyan to leave, not to cover the campaign, that is, the work of the journalist is hindered , but surprisingly, the Investigative Committee, which arrested the citizen who damaged Tigran Avinyan’s pre-election poster, the mayoral candidate of the ruling “Civil Contract” party, for example, does not react to this outrageous apparent crime, so do the Police and the General Prosecutor’s Office.
It is noteworthy that this behavior is at least, if not encouraged, then approved by Tigran Avinyan himself, who himself urged Ani Gevorgyan to go around with her candidate.
It should be noted that this is not the first case, i.e, earlier during the campaign days, Alen Simonyan, the President of the National Assembly, had behaved rudely towards Ani Gevorgyan, not befitting a state official
The dirty campaign against Ani Gevorgyan is not limited to attacks against the journalist; her family members were also targeted, their photos, with the ugliest comments, are spread on social networks by the ruling CC circles.
The Union of Journalists of Armenia strongly condemns this campaign against the journalist’s professional activity and the lack of response by the law enforcement system. The application of double standards will not only relieve the situation, the responsibility of which is solely the existing government and law enforcement system, but on the contrary, it will add new layers of tension and deep division in the society.
We urge the law enforcement bodies to be loyal to the law enforcement officer, not to look at things and phenomena through different prisms, and we call on the candidate of the “Civil Contract” party to control the instincts and actions of their teammates and supporters, not to allow unnecessary tension to hinder the journalist’s professional work.
Free professional work of journalists is a guarantee of freedom of speech, one of the milestones of democracy in any country, a tool of citizens’ control over state bodies and officials.
Getting information about the work and activities of a state body or official is a right of any citizen, any voter, guaranteed by the Constitution, which is ensured, including by the work of a journalist. Ensuring the unhindered work of a journalist, giving an interview or comment to a journalist is the obligation of an official, even more so, of a candidate.
UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF ARMENIA