Politics 12:15 19/04/2024 Armenia

EFJ and UJA demand immediate release of Narek Samsonyan and Vazgen Saghatelyan

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Armenia, the Union of Journalists of Armenia (UJA), in denouncing the authorities’ misuse of anti-hooliganism legislation to suppress press freedom and freedom of expression. The EFJ and UJA demand the immediate release of opposition activists Narek Samsonyan and Vazgen Saghatelyan, co-authors of the podcast “Imnemnimi”, imprisoned for criticising Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Vazgen Saghatelyan and Narek Samsonyan, the hosts of Imnemnimi, were given two-month pretrial detention on 22 March on charges of hooliganism. If found guilty, they could face up to five years in prison.

Armenia’s Investigative Committee stated in a statement that Saghatelyan and Samsonyan, who is the founder of AntiFake.am media outlet, committed hooliganism by “showing an openly contemptuous attitude towards moral norms’ and swearing at Pashinyan and his cabinet”. The committee cited an episode streamed on YouTube on 20 March about a parliamentary session as the reason for their arrest. They were charged with hooliganism the following day.

AntiFake.am published footage of Samsonyan’s brutal arrest, on the morning of 22 March. The video shows a group of police officers tackling a man and pushing his face to the ground. Later on the same day, the second host of the “Imnemnimi” podcast, Vazgen Saghatelyan, was also arrested. They were given two-month pretrial detention.

Nikol Pashinyan’s government is stepping up restrictions on freedom of expression. After attempting to criminalise the offence of serious insult, the authorities are using the provisions punishing hooliganism to punish opponents and journalists. According to UJA, “the number of political prisoners in Armenia is increasing day by day”.

“Even if Samsonyan and Saghatelyan used harsh language in their podcast, this in no way justified police brutality and detention,” said UJA President Satik Seyranyan. “They were not inciting violence but simply expressing their opinion. Equating these events with hooliganism shows the extent to which the authorities are abusing the law.”

“We call on the Council of Europe and the OSCE to condemn the repression of freedom of expression in Armenia,” added Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary. “The Armenian authorities must release political opponents and media actors imprisoned for expressing their opinions. We consider them to be political prisoners and demand their immediate release”.



Source Panorama.am
Share |

Newsfeed

17:00
Archbishop Bagrat meets with military personnel
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of the Tavush for the Homeland movement opposing the Armenian government’s unilateral territorial...
16:35
Senior cleric announces rally in Yerevan on May 26
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of the Tavush for the Homeland movement opposing the Armenian government’s unilateral territorial...
16:14
Archbishop Bagrat says no decision yet on his nomination for PM
No official decision has yet been taken on the nomination of Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan for Armenian prime minister. The Tavush for the...
15:30
Opposition MP reiterates support for movement led by Archbishop Bagrat
MP Hayk Mamijanyan, who heads the opposition Pativ Unem faction in the Armenian National Assembly, on Saturday reiterated his team’s...
15:00
Global study predicts increase in life expectancy by 2050
Global life expectancy is set to increase by almost five years by 2025, new research has found, but factors like obesity and high blood pressure...
14:35
Henrikh Mkhitaryan raises issue of Armenian prisoners held in Azerbaijan
Inter Milan midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan on Friday called the attention of the international community to the issue of Armenian prisoners held...
14:12
LIVE: Archbishop Bagrat meets with cultural figures
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of the Tavush for the Homeland movement against the Armenian government’s unilateral territorial...
13:52
Armenian MP urges Russia to review its priorities in South Caucasus
Armenian opposition MP Tigran Abrahamyan calls on Russia to review its priorities in the South Caucasus and ensure the safe return of the...
13:06
Archbishop Bagrat reveals reason for meeting with parties
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of a protest movement against the Armenian government’s unilateral territorial concessions to...
12:31
Armenian minister meets with border villagers affected by land surrender
Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Gnel Sanosyan on Saturday travelled to the border village of Kirants in...
11:45
TV and film actor Dabney Coleman dies at 92
Dabney Coleman, best known for his portrayal of cantankerous characters in films such as Tootsie and 9 to 5, has died at age 92, BBC News...
11:30
Tavush movement activists released
Five activists of the Tavush for the Homeland protest movement were set free on Friday night, reported lawyer Varazdat Harutyunyan, a member of...
11:00
India awaits clear proposals from Armenia on Chabahar port use, envoy says
Regarding the use of Chabahar port, India is waiting for details from the Armenian side and will definitely consider them once clear proposals...
17:00
Snow to hit parts of Armenia
Snow and wet snow are expected in Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province and mountainous areas of Vayots Dzor and Syunik Provinces on Friday...
16:45
TikTok testing hour-long videos
It's known for its short, sharp content. But it appears that TikTok is taking a leaf out of YouTube's book with its latest test....
16:36
Opposition MP meets with detained Tavush protesters
MP Tigran Abrahamyan of the opposition Pativ Unem faction on Friday visited the Nubarashen Penitentiary to meet with four activists...
16:02
Armenian border villagers dissatisfied after meeting with Tavush governor
Governor of Tavush Province Hayk Ghalumyan on Friday travelled to the border village of Kirants to meet with local residents protesting against...
15:34
Four dead after powerful storms hit Texas
Thunderstorms have killed four people and knocked out power to nearly a million homes and businesses in south-east Texas, BBC News reports....
15:06
Diaspora strongly supports protest movement in Armenia, leader says
The Tavush for the Homeland protest movement against the Armenian government’s unilateral territorial concessions to Azerbaijan enjoys...
14:30
In pictures: Archbishop Bagrat delivers lecture at YSU courtyard
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of the Tavush for the Homeland movement against the Armenian government’s unilateral territorial...
14:14
Arman Tatoyan slams obstruction of reporters' work
Former Armenian Ombudsman Arman Tatoyan, who currently runs the Tatoyan Foundation, has denounced efforts to hinder journalistic activities and...
13:36
Bus carrying passengers gets stuck in rainwater in Yerevan
A bus carrying passengers was stuck in rainwater following downpours in Yerevan on Thursday, the Rescue Service of Armenia's Interior...
13:15
France says situation 'calmer' in New Caledonia after fourth night of troubles
Hundreds of extra military and police arrived in France's troubled Pacific territory of New Caledonia ahead of a fourth night of troubles...
12:57
LIVE: Archbishop Bagrat delivers lecture at YSU courtyard
Archbishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the leader of the Tavush for the Homeland movement against the Armenian government’s unilateral...
12:33
International community urged to press for release of Ruben Vardanyan, other Armenian prisoners in Baku
Ruben Vardanyan’s family on Friday issued a statement calling on the international community to demand the unconditional release of...
12:06
Church in Artsakh's Aghavno at risk of destruction
The Holy Martyrs (Srbots Nahatakats) Church of Aghavno, a village in the Kashatagh region of Azerbaijani-occupied Artsakh, is at risk of...
11:32
Armenian, Azeri parliament speakers meet in Geneva
Armenian National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan met with Azerbaijan’s Milli Majlis Speaker Sahiba Gafarova in Geneva on Thursday 16 May....
11:22
Armenian wrestler Yeghishe Mosesyan crowned European champion
Freestyle wrestler Yeghishe Mosesyan has earned a gold medal at the U15 European Championships 2024 being held in Loutraki, Greece, from May...
11:00
UJA warns of increasing pressure on reporters in Armenia
The Union of Journalists of Armenia (UJA) on Thursday issued a statement warning of increasing pressure, violence and disrespect...
18:30
Georgia's central bank spends $60 mln to support lari amid rallies
Georgia's central bank said on Thursday it had spent $60 million in reserves to support the lari after a surge in demand for foreign...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}