Reporters injured by targeted police violence while covering protest in Armenia

At least ten journalists were injured and their equipment was damaged when police used force to disperse a protest in the Armenian capital. Deeply shocked by the use of stun grenades that hit journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for a transparent and independent investigation to bring those responsible to justice.

At least six reporters and cameramen were injured when Armenian police fired stun grenades in their direction as they covered a protest outside parliament in Yerevan, the capital, on 12 June. Photos show that the journalists were clearly identifiable as such. Four other journalists were the victims of violence during clashes between police and protesters, who were calling for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation.

“The targeted use of stun grenades and violence against journalists on 12 June is appalling. Nothing justifies the injuries inflicted on media personnel or the damage to their equipment. We remind the authorities of their international obligations to guarantee the protection of journalists in the course of their work. All possible light must be shed on these attacks, and those responsible must be brought to justice.

Jeanne Cavelier
Head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk

Three journalists working for opposition media outlets had to be hospitalised after being hit by stun grenades. They were reporter Aghvan Asoyan and cameraman Edik Malakyan and cameraman Hovsep HovsepyanNarek Hayryan, a cameraman working for, an independent new site, has been suffering from dizziness ever since.

As he fled from the stun grenades, cameraman Vazgen Yetumyan broke a leg when he collided with protesters who were also fleeing from the stun grenades but in the opposite direction.

Journalists injured in the clashes included Nare Gevorgyan, a reporter for the opposition site Mediahub. Most of the journalists also suffered damage to cameras or other expensive media equipment as a result of grenade explosions or violence. RSF already reported deliberate police violence against journalists during protests in May.

At the same time as police were using force against journalists outside parliament on 12 June, security guards were doing the same with reporters in the press gallery inside. When a clash broke out between government and opposition legislators, security guards forcibly expelled some of the reporters from the press gallery in a blatant attempt to obstruct their work and restrict their freedom to report the news.

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