A decision by the RA Prosecutor General's Office has released local journalist Tigran Hakobyan from pre-trial detention upon a signed oath that he won't leave the country. A letter issued by 24 local news outlets and media organizations asking RA Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan to change the precautionary measure applied to their colleague also contributed to this outcome.
In the letter, editors and journalists asked the Prosecutor General to consider Hakobyan's health condition.
"Tigran Hakobyan is one of the distinguished figures of our media field: he managed the papers Respublica Armenie and Hayk, the State Committee for Television and Radio and Armenpress news agency. Let us inform you that he has health problems — in particular, he has undergone heart surgery twice and now his condition is of concern. We are also confident that he, being released, will have neither the intention nor the occasion to influence the investigation process," reads the letter, in part.
The letter was signed by representatives of publications having different political views. Joining this campaign of solidarity in the news media sector were TV company directors and editors.
"It was a bit of an unexpected positive thing, this unity among news media. The letter had been signed by such people who are in completely opposite positions in the media sector. This speaks to the fact that something in our media sector is changing toward the positive," says Petros Ghazaryan, producer and host of Urvagits, a talk show aired on Kentron TV.
Bagrat Yesayan, editor of local daily Yerkir, highly praises this display of solidarity.
"It's commendable that regardless of their political views and orientation, in the matter of defending their colleague, all came out as one. I assume, that which chief editors had guaranteed, that Tigran will come as soon as the investigative body calls him, played a role," he says.
Aram Abrahamyan, editor of local daily Aravot, finds that such unity among news outlets is first and foremost due to Tigran Hakobyan as a person.
"A man having had such service in the sector deserved to have our industry intervene to change the precautionary measure applied to him. News outlets with utterly different directions and views had signed the appeal because Tigran inspires respect for heads of news outlets of all stripes," he says.
The preliminary investigation of the criminal case against Tigran Hakobyan continues.