The Armenian Police have compensated RFE/RL’s Armenian Service for its expensive equipment that was damaged by officers during last month’s breakup of a civil protest in Yerevan.
The Service’s internet-based Azatutyun TV was providing live coverage of an overnight sit-in in central Baghramian Avenue in the early hours of June 23 when its reporters and cameramen were attacked by police officers who had earlier dispersed a group of activists protesting rising electricity prices.
The officers, in particular, broke the reporters’ mobile phones and smashed a camera that was used for the live streaming of the protests. The cameraman was also forced to surrender the camera’s memory card.
Colonel Armen Malkhasian, chief of the Armenian Police’s press service, visited the Yerevan bureau of RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Thursday and brought with him a new Panasonic AG-AC 160 video camera with its accessories and a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone as replacement for the damaged equipment.
Still in early July the Special Investigation Service launched a criminal investigation into the actions of the police who manhandled both protesters and journalists during the June 23 crackdown.
In a separate move the Police demoted and “reprimanded” several officers who were involved in the actions condemned by leading human rights groups.
But members of the civic groups who participated in the protests demand that the officers responsible for the violence, including high-ranking police officials, be removed from the system and prosecuted.