By Lilit Harutiunian
A senior Yerevan police official has reported an upsurge in crime in the Armenian capital so far this year as well as a decline in the crime detection rate.
Police Colonel Ashot Mirijanian told the media on Wednesday that the statistics for the first 10 months of this year shows a nearly 14 percent increase in the number of reported crimes in the city.
“A total of 3,857 crimes were registered in Yerevan during the period in question, which is an increase by 462 compared to the same period in 2007,” he said. “The rate of crime detection in the cases under investigation made 56.8 percent, against 61.4 percent reported for the same period last year.”
The police representative reported no progress in the investigation on the recent attack against a prominent investigative journalist in Yerevan, but voiced optimism that the crime would be disclosed very soon.
“The work is being done. I have no doubt that it will be disclosed in a very near future and the attackers will be brought to responsibility,” Mirijanian said.
Edik Baghdasarian, an award-winning investigative journalist known for writing stories exposing government corruption, suffered severe head injuries as he was ambushed and beaten on Monday evening by unknown assailants. The journalist himself believes the attack was connected to his critical reporting.
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian condemned the attack the same day and issued strict instructions to law-enforcement agencies to ensure a quick detection of the crime. Premier Sarkisian also visited Baghdasarian at the hospital. Police have not yet come up with any theories yet.
Baghdasarian’s assault is the seventh reported case of violence against a media representative in Armenia this year. No one has yet been punished for any of the attacks.
Mirijanian, however, said his experience and professional intuition prompted him the case would be disclosed quickly.
“Sometimes a detective can feel a case is detectable,” he said.
The police official also said they expected Baghdasarian to be helpful to the investigation and promised to keep the media and public informed of any new developments in his case.