YEREVAN. - The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office issued a statement demanding an immediate release of Hayk Gevorgyan, the journalist of Armenia’s Haykakan Zhamanak daily, and a thorough and impartial investigation.  

“Haykakan Zhamanak’s well-known journalist Hayk Gevorgyan was arrested, on [Friday] February 3, 2012, and taken to Nubarashen Prison. According to the Police Force, the journalist was sent to prison because he was declared wanted, ever since January 23, in connection with a road incident involving the vehicle he was driving.

Pursuant to Armenia’s Criminal Procedure Code, a person can be declared wanted if his/her location is unknown and he/she is evading investigation. But Hayk Gevorgyan continued his journalistic activities, drove the same car, and covered senior officials prior to and after January 23.

He even said he was ready to be present for the investigation if a writ was sent. The investigator [into the case] was even offered to inspect the automobile. But these proposals were declined. [And] Such course in the developments gives grounds to record that the police are carrying out an ordered manhunt. Hayk Gevorgyan’s arrest and [his] trumped-up criminal manhunt are instructed personally by Police Chief Vova [Vladimir] Gasparyan.

We are assuming that his nerves finally gave in because of the publication, which was publicized on the first page of Haykakan Zhamanak’s February 3 issue, which refers to the whereabouts of Vova Gasparyan’s Mercedes[-Benz] G-Class worth 120-150 thousand [US] dollars,” The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office’s statement specifically reads.