An Armenian journalist known for writing stories exposing government corruption has been attacked and beaten by unknown assailants, the seventh such incident in the country this year.
Edik Baghdasarian, an award-winning investigative reporter who runs the Yerevan-based online magazine "Hetq," said he had left his office in downtown Yerevan at about 8 p.m. Monday when he was ambushed.
“Right near [my] car, two people attacked me and began to land heavy blows," Baghdasarian told RFE/RL. "I retaliated, and we were exchanging blows. I punched one of them, and since I was holding a mobile phone in my hand at that moment, the phone now has blood stains on it, presumably the blood of one of the attackers.”
Then, according to Baghdasarian, a third person hit him on the head from behind and knocked him unconscious.
He says the attackers ran away after a security worker from a nearby construction site fired a shot into the air.
Baghdasarian was hospitalized with head injuries.
Baghdasarian says he lost a computer disc in the attack that contained several investigative stories he planned to publish. He believes the attack was connected to his reporting.
Police say they are investigating the incident.
Baghdasarian's assault is the seventh reported case of violence against a media representative in Armenia this year. No one has yet been punished for any of the attacks.
(by Astghik Bedevian of RFE/RL's Armenian Service)