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RFE/RL Reporter Attacked In Yerevan After Investigating Possible Vote-Buying

In Armenia, Several Reporters Attacked While Covering Elections
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In Armenia, Several Reporters Attacked While Covering Elections

YEREVAN -- An RFE/RL reporter who was investigating allegations of vote-buying in Armenia’s April 2 parliamentary vote was attacked a few hours after polls opened.

The incident occurred after Sisak Gabrielian, a reporter with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, saw citizens leaving a local campaign office of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) in Yerevan’s Kond neighborhood with money in their hands.

People inside the campaign office, who refused to identify themselves, said that it was salary money and that citizens were not receiving "election bribes."

Gabrielian said he was then roughed up by ruling party loyalists, receiving minor injuries.

A reporter with the news site was also attacked by government loyalists after filming people leaving the HHK campaign office in Kond. The attackers confiscated her video equipment.

Following the incident, the office of HKK candidate Hakob Beglarian issued a statement, denying that any vote-buying was taking place inside the office.

The statement said that the altercation took place "outside the office" and that it was "between journalists and citizens."

With reporting by Suren Musayelyan in Yerevan