OSCE condemns attack on journalists during Yerevan protest

Agence France Presse
April 9, 2004 Friday

OSCE condemns attack on journalists during Yerevan protest


The pan-European security and rights body OSCE condemned the attacks
on journalists that occurred during an opposition rally in Yerevan
this week, the OSCE envoy in Armenia said.

“Any violence against journalists should be condemned, the
instigators identified and criminal proceedings against them
initiated,” Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin said late Thursday.

“I hope the Armenian authorities will keep their promises to take the
necessary measures in this respect,” he added.

Unknown assailants grabbed two television cameras and two cameras
from journalists covering the Monday demonstration, smashing them to
pieces in front of police, who did not intervene.

More than 3,000 Armenians took to the streets of Yerevan Monday to
protest against President Robert Kocharyan and demand a referendum on
his contested rule in the impoverished, landlocked Caucasus nation.

Last Friday, Armenian journalists held a rally to protest against the
threat to freedom of expression in this former Soviet republic, which
has been criticized by the Council of Europe for cracking down on
independent media.