A correspondent for RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) was attacked and injured by a plainclothes man while covering an opposition protest on a highway outside Yerevan.
The incident occurred near Artashat, a town about 30 kilometers south of Yerevan, when the journalist, Arus Hakobian, was streaming live video for Azatutyun TV.
The video clearly shows the face of the attacker. It is also clear that despite Hakobian’s repeated warnings police officers at the scene did nothing to stop or capture the attacker. Hakobian reported that she felt blood coming from her teeth after the attack.
RFE/RL alerted law-enforcement authorities about the incident. Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General said later in the day that it has ordered another law-enforcement body, the Investigative Committee, to launch an inquiry.
Hakobian was assaulted during a bitter argument between a group of government loyalists and opposition supporters who tried to travel to Yerevan and join protests against Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian in a convoy of about 30 cars. Police did not allow them to reach the Armenian capital.