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OSCE Wants Probe Of Attack On Journalists In Armenia

Prague, 9 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation In Europe (OSCE) has called on Armenian authorities to investigate attacks on journalists that occurred during an opposition rally in Yerevan this week.

The OSCE envoy to Armenia, Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin, said any violence against journalists must be condemned and criminal proceedings started against the attackers. He urged Armenian authorities to keep their promises to take the necessary measures.

Unknown assailants are reported to have grabbed two television cameras and two cameras from journalists who were covering the 5 April demonstration and smashed the equipment in front of police, who reportedly did not intervene.

Up to 3,000 protesters took part in the demonstration to demand a referendum on President Robert Kocharian's rule. Kocharian was re-elected in March 2003 in a poll the opposition says was rigged.

Protesters have said they plan to hold another rally today, despite a ban on the gathering announced by authorities.