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The Union of Journalists of Armenia condemns the actions of the National Security Service against journalist Nairi Hokhikyan and calls on the Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia to investigate and give a public assessment on the act of the state power structure against the journalist. This is stated in the statement issued by the Union of Journalists of Armenia.

“On July 29, 2021, member of the Union of Journalists of Armenia, journalist and TV commentator Nairi Hokhikyan was summoned to the National Security Service (NSS) for an interview as a witness, during which the mobile phone of the journalist was seized.

Hokhikyan offered to voluntarily provide the investigative body with the facts at his disposal, but the officers of the National Security Service neglected the journalist’s willingness and seized his mobile phone in which there were several pieces of personal and professional information. In this sense, the investigative body de facto hindered implementation of the professional activities of the journalist as well.

It should be mentioned that Nairi Hokhikyan has publicized a documentary on the 44-day war that took place in 2020 and several facts that became a topic for wide public discourse, after which the Armenian authorities have de facto started persecuting the journalist who is carrying out his professional activities. Summoning a journalist to an interview as a witness without familiarizing him or her with the specifics of the particular criminal case and committing acts against him or her that are specific to the status of a suspect (asking accusatory questions, seizing personal items) are unlawful acts and pressure against the journalist.

Nairi Hokhikyan has disclosed several details of his conversation with Jewish blogger Alexander Lapshin which shed light on the dark pages of the 44-day war, contain de facto evidential base, but the NSS have seized the mobile phone of the journalist.

The Union of Journalists of Armenia condemns the actions of the National Security Service against journalist Nairi Hokhikyan and calls on the Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia to investigate and give a public assessment on the act of the state power structure against the journalist,” the statement reads.

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