Violence used against journalists arrested in Yerevan
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 23
About 240 people were taken to the police stations after the violent crackdown on the protesters in the center of Yerevan, Armenia.
In connection with this the police stations in Yerevan are crowded, and some people were taken to the police departments in the cities of Abovyan and Ashtarak, the Armenia Today reported June 23 citing the Armenian NGO, Union of Informed Citizens.
Among the detained, there are also journalists of a number of Armenian media outlets, in particular the Gala TV, Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper, the news.am, panarmenian.net and hetq.am agencies.
The police using brute force took the journalists' cameras and broke them, destroying media storages along the way. In particular, the police smashed the camera and the mobile phone of a journalist of the Radio Liberty's Armenian office.
Reportedly, dozens of citizens have said that the police used violence against the detainees, including the journalists, on the road to the police stations.
Many people were injured, some of them are in hospitals.
Violence was used against the journalists taken to the police stations as well. In general, the violence was used against those journalists who were filming on camera what was happening.
The Gala TV's journalist, Paylak Fakhradyan said he had repeatedly warned, including in the presence of the Yerevan police chief Ashot Karapetyan, that he is a journalist, informing that force was used against him, but Fakhradyan was still taken to the police station.
"In the presence of numerous police officers, I, being beaten, was taken to the police station. I have bruises all over my face, terrible things are going on here," said the journalist.
Seven people requested medical aid. Three of them were taken to hospital.
The police claim that during the dispersal of the rally some 11 police officers were injured.
Earlier on June 23, the Armenian police broke up a rally in the center of the country's capital. The rally was held in protest against the increase in the electricity tariffs.
Powerful jets of water cannons pushed the protesters to the Marshal Baghramyan Avenue towards the Opera Theatre in Yerevan.
On June 17, Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission, considering a request from the distribution company, Electric Networks of Armenia, which is a subsidiary of the Inter RAO UES, raised the electricity tariffs by 6.93 Armenian drams (about $0.015).
This caused discontent among the population, who believes that the rise in the cost of electricity will lead to higher prices for essential goods and many services.
Edited by SI