Due To The Incident With The Deputy, Journalists Were Removed From The NA Building

Gayane Asryan


On September 15, the employees of the National Security Agency forcibly removed journalists Ani Gevorgyan and Suzy Badoyan, as well as the cameramen working with them, from the building of the National Assembly. 

The incident took place after the fight between MP Kristine Poghosyan and journalists during the voting for the candidate of the judge of the Supreme Court. 

NA Speaker Alen Simonyan ordered the removal of the journalist group due to the disruption of the normal activity of the legislator and for upsetting the vote. 

Suzy Badoyan asked the MP which CC politicians’ house the protesters went to yesterday. Kristine Poghosyan answered, send a request to the police, find out. 

During the tense situation, Ani Gevorgyan asked the MP the next question about a person who died during the 2018 revolution, and Kristine Poghosyan answered, “Are you serious, and you represent the journalistic community?” 

Kristine Poghosyan called journalists Azerbaijani agents, “Get them out of here. I said go, I’ll talk to you personally any way I want. Go protest.” 

The journalist said, “This is not your house.” The deputy replied, “It is my house.” 

Kristine Poghosyan picked up a phone, wanting to hit her with it while saying, “Just you wait, I’ll give it to you, you’ll know who comes from the street.” CC deputy Sargis Khandanyan grabbed her arm and tried to restrain her, then Poghosyan was removed from the area. 

This was followed by the NA Speaker’s order to remove the journalists from the area. The journalists requested a written document regarding the actions of the State Security Service. Ani Gevorgyan did not obey the order and sat on the ground. 

“Kristine Poghosyan attacked me with a phone, don’t you have anything to say to her? Do you want to remove me for my reminder that there was a victim during the events of 2018? A freedom fighter was killed when they tried to break into the building of the Etchmiadzin Municipality,” said the journalist. 

Then, two employees of the State Security Service violently dragged Ani Gevorgyan down the stairs. The movement of other journalists and cameramen was also obstructed on the stairs, and one of the cameramen was hit. 

In a conversation with journalists, Alen Simonyan said that he is not going to investigate the behavior of deputy Kristine Poghosyan and that he acted in accordance with the new provisions of the NA Regulations Law, according to which journalists disrupting the activities of the NA should be removed. 

“Those journalists disrupted the work of the counting commission, and the member of the counting commission had to leave, she was replaced by another member,” said Alen Simonyan. 

The National Assembly of the 8th convocation has limited the opportunity for journalists to move around in the legislative body and communicate with deputies. 

Ashot Melikyan, chairman of the Freedom of Speech Protection Committee, told Media.am that what happened was not the first case of a conflict between parliamentarians representing the ruling power and opposition journalists. “Instead of discussing the issue, revising the NA regulations, regulating the ethical behavior of journalists working in the area, the journalists were removed from the parliament building, and by force.” 

He said that if there is no public outrage, the deputy’s action will remain inconsequential and will not be discussed in the ethics committee. “During the dispute, the latter even tried to hit the journalist with a phone.” 

According to the president of FSPC, it is also important to discuss the behavior of journalists, and why those two journalists always end up in such situations. 

“I already have an inner conviction that they carry out political activities in parliament and fulfill the order of their editors or the political force that finances the media. Now there are journalists in the National Assembly who criticize these authorities more sharply and harshly, but they observe the rules of ethics.” 

According to Melikyan, the issue cannot be discussed one-sidedly and the journalistic community should evaluate such conflicts. 

There are more than 100 journalists who have joined the self-regulation initiative created by the watchdog, and who must ultimately sign the code of conduct, including demanding that the National Assembly improve the working conditions of journalists. Both sides need to cooperate, and set boundaries in the relationship between MP and journalist. 

Gayane Asryan 

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