On the evening of May 11, Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper reporter Anna Zakharyan witnessed on her way home how bribes of 20,000 drams ($41) and pre-ticked ballot papers for Sunday’s mayoral elections were being distributed at the campaign headquarters of Yerevan acting mayor and mayor candidate Taron Margaryan on Yerevan’s Kurghinyan Street, Armtimes.com reports.
When the reporter began shooting the process with her phone, the “area good guys” forcibly took away her phone and deleted the entire contents of the device, including Zakharyan’s personal messages and contacts. Before returning the phone to the owner, Armtimes.com writes, the young men wiped it with a napkin to remove their fingerprints.
“They gave it back with a napkin, and of course the fingerprints had been wiped away. I refused to take the phone and went home. They followed me, opened my door and threw the phone inside, again with a napkin,” Zakharyan recalled.
Nevertheless, the reporter managed to restore the video, which was subsequently published on Armtimes.com.