Armenian Regional Paper Office Ransacked Over Critical Reporting


Public Television of Armenia
13 Oct 04

Yerevan, 13 October: Three rascals smashed the editorial office of
the Kapan-published regional newspaper Syunyats Yerkir (The country
of Syunik) in Armenia.

The editorial office of the newspaper told Arminfo news agency that
this morning the three members of the Kapan-based public organization,
(?”Syunik Eagles), led by the chairman of the organization,
Khachik Asryan, burst into the editorial office of the newspaper and
roughhoused it. The editor-in-chief of the newspaper was beaten with a
truncheon. He received blows mainly to his face and head. A spokesman
for the newspaper said that the bandits thought it was not enough just
to ransack the editorial office. They also threatened the newspaper’s
staff and took away the editor’s mobile phone. Before they left they
threatened the editor and told him that unless he leaves Kapan within
an hour, they will come back and burn down the editorial office and
his vehicle.

The spokesman for the newspaper said that the law-enforcement bodies
were immediately informed about the incident and a doctor was called
in to examine the marks of beating. A criminal case was launched into
the incident. They are being charged with hooliganism.

The spokesman explained the act of hooliganism by the publication
of recent articles about the government’s decision to close down
two schools in the district. After one publication, the editor of
the newspaper and press secretary of the region’s governor, Suren
Khachatryan, was dismissed from his post and the editorial office of
the newspaper was evicted from its two-room office in the building
of the district administration.

To recap, the aforementioned articles strongly criticized the decision
to close down the schools. It is also reported that the schools will
be replaced with new, private and fee-paying schools.