In the evening of April 26, a news was spread on Facebook about a woman who was run over by the RA Prime Minister’s motorcade. Shortly afterwards, the websites wrote and published videos about a pregnant woman being run over by a car accompanying Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the intersection of Leo-Paronyan streets.
Later, the RA Police confirmed the case of a running over by a Toyota car in the service of the Traffic Police. Shortly afterwards, information was spread that the victim had died.
In an interview with Hetq, the director of Nairi Medical Center said that the woman who was run over had already died when she was taken to them, that “cardiopulmonary resuscitation operations did not yield results.” The director of the MC confirmed that the woman was pregnant.
Fact Investigation Platform summed up the inaccuracies published in the press regarding the tragic car accident and put together the manipulations and speculations of government resources and opposition figures on the topic.
The age of the victim and the political speculations
Some time after the accident, 168.am wrote that they had received information that the woman who was run over by Pashinyan’s government motorcade was 19 years old.
Later, however, we learned from the message spread by the RA Investigation Committee that the woman who was run over was a 28-year-old resident of Ararat region.
The case of running over the woman became a subject of speculations by the opposition, spiced with wrong information about her age. For example, former MP Naira Zohrabyan, alluding to Pashinyan wrote on her Facebook page, “Isn’t it enough shedding the blood of 18-19 year olds?”
Shortly afterwards, Zohrabyan edited her post, removing the inaccurate information about the woman’s age.
Opposition figure, MP of the NA “Hayastan” faction Ishkhan Saghatelyan said during the protest action in France Square on April 26, politicizing the tragic running over, “A 19-year-old pregnant woman died in the hospital. This (meaning Nikol Pashinyan-ed․) is not only a traitor, but also a murderer.”
Edgar Elbakyan, a user with more than 15,000 followers on social media, in his turn made the tragic accident a subject of political speculations, linking it to the events of March 1, 2008, calling it a premeditated murder.
“Killing a pregnant woman was not accidental. By doing so, anti-Armenia is taking revenge for not being allowed to seize power in Armenia in 2008 and hand over Artsakh to their Turkish owners,” he wrote.
The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister denies the “accusation”, which was not voiced
Taron Chakhoyan, Deputy Chief of Staff of the RA Prime Minister, made a post on his Facebook page some time after the incident, denying “speculations of some media outlets and certain individuals,” accusing the latter of blaming the Prime Minister for the accident.
“Everyone knows that Prime Minister Pashinyan does not drive a car and has never been behind the wheel of a car, it is even absurd to talk about it,” Chakhoyan wrote.
Monitoring social media and relevant media publications, FIP.am did not find any post or publication made before Chakhoyan’s post stating that Pashinyan was driving the car by which the pregnant woman was run over.
Therefore, Chakhoyan denies an “information” that was not published anywhere. Moreover, there is no mention in the post of the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister that the accident took place with the participation of a police car accompanying the Prime Minister.
It should be noted that this “refutation” was actively spread by the pro-government press emphasizing the fact that the Prime Minister was not driving, and during the main program of the Public TV “News” the commentator read Chakhoyan’s post from end to end.
The public TV and the police do not say that the traffic police car was accompanying the Prime Minister
In the official announcements about the accident, only the Investigative Committee mentioned that the accident took place with the participation of the commander of the officer platoon accompanying the traffic police. There is no mention of the type of police car service in the message spread by the police.
During the main issue of “News” of the Public Television, the commentator, while referring to the topic, also bypasses the fact that the traffic police car was part of the motorcade accompanying the Prime Minister.
Without mentioning the Prime Minister and his motorcade, the commentator next reads Taron Chakhoyan’s above-mentioned Facebook post, which refuted the unpublished information about Pashinyan being behind the wheel of the car.
In fact, bypassing the fact of participation of the Prime Minister’s the motorcade during the program, and then referring to the explanation / refutation of one of the representatives of the Prime Minister’s staff, causes a logical rupture of information for the viewer. In Armenia, about 370 people die every year due to traffic accidents, about one person a day. According to the public news, the recipient of information about yesterday’s accident cannot fully understand why this one out of the hundreds of tragic deaths in road accidents a year is covered.