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1.02.2018 | freedom of speech

Threats continue: They also threatened the editor`s family

Threats continue: They also threatened the editor`s family
Threats in "Facebook" social network addressed to the "Medialab" website director and chief editor Marianna Grigoryan continued today. The threatening person wrote in Armenian with Latin alphabet and sent a sign symbolizing death, along with the following text: "Live your life today; tomorrow you may not have it." Trying to put pressure on her, he also hinted at the editor`s family members.

Marianna Grigoryan told Forrights.am about these threats. And this was happening right after the Helsinki Citizens` Assembly Vanadzor office filed a criminal complaint to the RA Prosecutor General a day ago, demanding to reveal and prosecute the author of threats.

Our questions to Prosecutor General`s spokesman Gor Abrahamyan remained unanswered. Answering to the Forrights.am question on why the police does not take any steps, Police Press Service head Ashot Aharonyan answered today that they cannot do anything before the Prosecutor`s Office`s instructions (while the media have already reported about the threats). Later though Ashot Aharonyan informed that the police had started dealing with the issue and the Police General Department for Combating Organized Crime was dealing with the mentioned publications.

Later, we learned that RA General Prosecutor`s Office sent the media publications about the threats in social media against the editor of MediaLab webiste to the General Department for Combating Organized Crime of the RA Police for conducting test operations, as the public relations department of the Prosecutor`s Office of Armenia reported to Armenpress.

The Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia considers the information about the threats addressed to the editorial office of "Medialab.am" strictly condemnable. Law enforcement agencies should immediately investigate the issue within criminal procedure. The person who has committed such a crime shall be subject to strict liability to exclude any such move in the future.

The Ombudsman staff has started an examination procedure on its own initiative. Necessary information was required from the law enforcement agencies regarding the measures taken and their course.

Earlier media reported about threats on the Facebook addressed to the editor and director of Mediaelab Marianna Grigoryan.

Let`s remind that under the "Money-Grubber`s Flowers" caricature posted in Facebook, which ridiculed the Ministry of Defense for purchasing 7 million drams-worth flowers in December, 2017, a user named Hayk Berman Ohanyan wrote: "Do not you think that you have crossed the line? Be careful not to appear in the situation of that French thing."

In response to the question of Marianna Grigoryan, the user confirmed that he was referring to the slaughter in the editorial office of the French "Charlie Hebdo" magazine when 12 people were killed and 10 wounded as a result of the bombing of the office of the satirical weekly newspaper.

The threats then continued in the form of private messaging.

Marine Kharatyan
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