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Journalists Seek Justice After Threats Following Prime Minister's Press Conference

Journalists Seek Justice After Threats Following Prime Minister's Press Conference

Following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's press conference in June 2023, an incident unfolded targeting two journalists who posed questions to the prime minister. Ani Gevorgyan and Hripsime Jebejyan found themselves at the center of a tumultuous campaign characterized by insults and threats, leading to a series of legal actions as they pursue justice for the threats they've faced.

Ani Gevorgyan, recounting the events that followed the press conference, stated, "A big campaign started against me and journalist Hripsime Jebejyan, which was accompanied by insults and its culmination was during the Yerevan mayoral elections, when they also tried to implement the threats by using physical force on the street."

Their attorney, Razmik Baghdasaryan and Shushan Avetisyan, provided insight into the legal steps taken, stating, "Reports were submitted to the RA Prosecutor's Office, and we have several episodes of criminal proceedings underway. Both journalists were identified as victims, and investigations are ongoing. However, the challenge lies in identifying the individuals responsible, as they operate through various fake profiles and aliases on social platforms."

In an exclusive interview with The Armenian Report, journalist Hripsime Jebejyan expressed concerns about the impact on their professional activities, stating, "We do not feel free and unencumbered during our activities, hindering our professional duties. Threats, including personal messages and online posts, have created an atmosphere of fear. I've even had to alter my work routines, avoiding potentially dangerous situations."

Jebejyan’s reluctance to cover government candidates due to safety concerns mirrors a broader issue faced by journalists. "I could not cover the campaign of government candidates to avoid the background of hatred of their supporters," she added.

Baghdasaryan emphasized the fundamental right of journalists to conduct their work without fear of reprisal, saying, "A journalist should not be identified for the activities he/she carries out. We must hold those responsible and accountable through legal means to prevent and eradicate such incidents in the future."

Threatening journalists violates the core principles of a democratic society, undermining the vital role they play in holding power to account and informing the public. Upholding the rights and safety of journalists is essential to safeguarding the integrity of free speech and democracy.

As the legal process unfolds, the pursuit of justice for Ani Gevorgyan and Hripsime Jebejyan stands as a testament to the necessity of protecting journalists' rights in the face of intimidation and threats.


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