Journalist attacked reporting on potential election fraud

Expression

Armenia held parliamentary elections on 2nd April 2017. On election day, Sisak Gabrielian, a correspondent for the Armenian service of Radio Free Europe was attacked while attempting to film fraudulent activities at a polling station. Gabrielian suffered a minor injury to his face and polling station attendants forced him off the premises. 

In March 2017, during a press conference in Yerevan, Liana Doydoyan, chair of the Armenian watchdog NGO - Freedom of Information Centre - declared that the authorities have been selectively implementing and applying provisions within the Freedom of Information Law. The Centre monitors the government's fulfillment and application of the Law and identifies any shortcomings in implementation. 

Peaceful Assembly

In March 2017, hundreds of Armenians gathered for three days of demonstrations after activist, Artur Sargsyan, passed away. Sargsyan had gone on a 25-day hunger strike while being held in prison on charges of aiding an opposition group during a standoff with the government in 2016. Prior to Sargsyan's death, demonstrators had mobilised in early March 2017, demanding his release. Several demonstrators reported being threatened by the police for their protest actions.

In July 2016, protests erupted in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, mobilising thousands to express their grievances with the socio-economic situation in the country. Violence broke out during the protests; three police officers were killed and 40 persons were detained. These individuals remain in detention to this day and receive legal assistance from Armenian human rights groups. Civil society has expressed its concerns over the prolonged detentions and the government's inadequate response to and investigation into the police use of excessive force against demonstrators last year.