Today, an international media reporter addressed the RA Human Rights Defender with a report and informed that the servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces threatened to kill him with a weapon, including by a sniper, near the village of Verin Shorzha near the RA Gegharkunik region, at the sector toward the RA state border. The Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Armenia (RA), Arman Tatoyan, on Friday wrote about this on his Facebook.

"Based on the report, it was found out that the incident took place on June 15 2021, when the international reporter—with another reporter—carried out coverage and other journalistic work at a distance of 2 kilometers from the state border of Armenia—toward the interior of the country; specifically in the place where the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces are deployed about 600 meters apart; that is, it is about an incident that occurred in the RA territory, whereas the reporter himself was about 100 meters away from the Azerbaijani positions.

While carrying out his professional work, the reporter noticed that the servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces were behaving aggressively, heard shouts, and then noticed that they were loading their weapons and holding them in his direction—threatening to shoot.

Not having time to respond, he noticed that another Azerbaijani armed serviceman started behaving more aggressively and irregularly, holding a sniper rifle at him and threatening to [kill] him with a shot in the face.

The international reporter stopped working to avoid unpredictable consequences.

The reporter of the international media informed that they had a visible emblem for the Azerbaijani armed forces, that they were a representative of the press and had observed all the rules of journalistic work. At the same time, the Human Rights Defender found out that the [said] reporter has extensive experience in professional work in conflict and post-conflict zones.

It is clear that it was clear to the Azerbaijani armed forces that they threaten to kill a reporter doing professional work.

Thus, the servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces obviously aimed to hinder the work of the international reporter and prevent him from spreading the facts confirming the illegal Azerbaijani incursion of the sovereign territory of Armenia.

The reporter has applied—regarding the incident—to Reporters Without Borders international organization, which has already has made a publication on this fact.

The Human Rights Defender has repeatedly stated that the obviously illegal presence of the Azerbaijani armed servicemen, their openly criminal acts in the immediate vicinity of the villages of RA Gegharkunik and Syunik Provinces, on the roads between the communities of Syunik Province, and since May 12, also in the RA sovereign territory, have grossly violated the rights of the residents of the RA border villages, seriously endangered their lives and health, completely disrupted the normal life of the people

A security zone should be established along all sections of the border with Azerbaijan to protect people from the illegal actions of Azerbaijani servicemen.

Due to the need for personal protection of the international reporter in connection with this particular incident, the RA Human Rights Defender does not publish information about him, but they will be presented to the relevant international bodies in a joint discussion with the international reporter who presented the report the Defender,” added the ombudsman of Armenia.