Attack on Armenian journalist… again!

The journalist of pro-opposition “Haykakan Zhamanak” (Armenian Times) newspaper Lusine Barseghyan was attacked on August 11, 2008. The girl was beaten by ‘skin-heads’ and was made to understand, that the attack is related to her professional activities.

This is not the first attack on a journalist in Armenia and it is evidently not the last one. Journalist x, y, z were beaten this year because they criticized a, b, c semi-criminal government official, oligarch, mayor, district head, police chef… feudal lord.

There are today two types of people creating news content in Armenia – real journalists and ‘palace poets’ – those, who say they are journalists, but who will only write something, once they have checked if their owner doesn’t object.

Real journalists in this country are further categorized into those who have been beaten, and those, who haven’t been beaten… yet. Because, you see, in order to practice journalism, the journalist has to mirror the reality in the country. And when this or that ‘feudal lord’ sees their ugly face in that mirror, they send their little army of ‘skin heads’ to beat the journalist who held that mirror to their face.

Can anything be done? I guess no. Because the president of this country is the biggest ‘feudal lord’… because the opposition in this country also consists of similar ‘feudal lords’… because nobody is really interested in having journalists mirror the reality in this country – because the reality is ugly and because those, who have some kind of power in this country, make use of that ugly reality to gain profits and retain that power… because everything has been done since th 90’s to make sure, that the media doesn’t gain power and doesn’t turn into media business which serves the functions of informing people, rather then being the servant of power elites. Unfortunately, the only advice I can give journalists in Armenia, is to carry bandages and pain-killer medication with them at all times… because the beatings will continue.

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15 thoughts on “Attack on Armenian journalist… again!

  1. “because the opposition in this country also consists of similar ‘feudal lords’… ”
    I think this is a very unfair statement.
    The opposition is a very wide term and consists of many people who have no past of being a ‘feudal lords’. yes, I don’t object that there might be some individuals who joined the opposition movement to save their skins.
    As a matter of fact if you look very specifically the ‘feudal lords’ of the till 98 period are the same ‘feudal lords’ of after 98.
    I bring examples:
    Robert Kocharyan, Serjik Sargssyan, Mher Tokhmakhi Sedrakyan, Hovik Mkhchiani muk Abrahamyan, Andranik Manukyan, and so on and so on.
    The only fault of pre-98 government was that after 94-95 it gave too much power to those people. Also undermined the good intentions and criticism of people who were and are always true in their convictions and were in the core of the 1988 movement.

  2. Levon Ter-Petrossian set the precedent of persecuting media and journalists for their political views. He ordered closing down the A1 TV company (later reopened as A1+) and a range of pro-ARF media. In fact Ter-Petrossian has closed down a total of13 media outlets during his time in power.

  3. The following ludicrous statement is enough to consider this whole radical opposition as a joke:

    “The only fault of pre-98 government was that after 94-95 it gave too much power to those people.”

    Payqar, historical revisionism + a healthy dose of hallucination is not enough for the Armenian nation to recall its low point since the Genocide and/or Stalinism.

  4. Observer

    I dont have much information re the closure of pro-dashnak or anti-state media such as who gave the orders and who implemented them but I know one thing for sure, dashnaks had ploted a coup d’etat in the form of assastinations. There were court cases and still there are dashnaktsakans in jails.

    I have no intensions to go back to history, my concern is the present and the future of Armenia.

    What I say is the people who currently occupy the government posts do so illegitamatly and by brute force. and the people who support them are not much different as they are prompoters of this.
    The only way out of this is fair and free elections and the only way to achieve that is to claim back our rights. This movement is all about it.

  5. Convenient arguementation: consider only the history that is palatable. Ignore (or rewrite) the rest.

    Sorry Payqar, but this is exactly what is so distasteful about the “movement” and why so few people (even those who see no hope for change in the new administration) can hold their noses for long enough to rally around the discredited opposition.

  6. Everybody has the right to have an opinion.
    Hopefully one day we will be able to express that freely in Armenia.

  7. We are able to express opinions freely in Armenia… it’s just that people get intimidated and beat up for that :(

  8. As usual (and luckily, this time!) Armenia today is a pale shadow of Russia. In Russia, they kill the journalists. In Armenia, they beat them…

  9. Հայերեն ասեմ
    Մեր մոտ կան մի քանի իրենց ժուռնալիստ կոչող մարդիկ,որոնք բացի ծեծ ուտելուց ուրիշ բանի արժանի չեն: Բազմաթիվ անգամներ առնրվել եմ այդ կատեգորիայի հետ ու հասկացել եմ,որ նրանց միակ նպատակը ծեծ ուտելն է ու այդ ծեծից սարքել համաշխարահին վայնասուն:
    Ընդհանրապես,ներկա Հայաստանում աճել է որոշ սերունդ ու համար ծեծուջարդը դառել ա ՓիԱռ-ի միջոց,ընդ որում նրանք իրենց այդ նպատակասլացությամբ արդեն հոգնեցնում են:
    Ամեն մարդը պատասխանատու է իր արածների ու ասածների համար,ու ծեծ ուտելը մտնում է այդ տրամաբանության մեջ:
    Իհարկե,կնոջը ծեծելը վայել չէ հայ տղամարդու համար և այդ պատճառով ես ել եմ դատապարտում Լուսինեի ծեծողներին:

  10. Tigran
    So if Lusine was not a female you would justify the beating of a journalist?
    So basically you justify the beating of people only because what they say or think. Were you in Liberty square on the early morning of March 1st beating us (demonstrators) up?
    No wonder that some people call you a fascist. How different are you from Musolini’s Black Shirts? Maybe only by being ashamed of it, – hence your choice of Armenian instead of English.

  11. Aram
    I understood that you have problem with Armenian language,otherwise you wouldn’t write so emotional comment(you looks like Saakashvili:)
    There is a difference between Journalist and “journalist”.And you should know it.
    Everyone is responsible for what HE said and what HE did(except women,since “what is said by woman is groundless” arm.idiom:
    Another nice idiom,Eating beating is for the real man,so I think there is no differnece between normal citizen or “journalist”.
    For fascist you are not the first and hope not the last who told that to me,so far,for your info,I am also racist,antisemit and Head of Youtube department in KGB.
    For the first time I’ll forgive you,for the next,re-read please this comment.
    Have nice days.

  12. Pigh-jan,

    Please bring your comment to the front of the room and read it in English so Observer’s entire classroom can understand the opinion you expressed here.

    Nothing about beating journalists (or oppositional voices either) is in the least bit humorous, and it’s a small step from there to killing them. There are several ghosts of journalists drifting down from Georgia right now that will tell you that.

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