Yesterday, on October 26, 2016, Gagik Tsarukyan, RA National Assembly deputy and businessman, made insulting remarks towards Sisak Gabrielyan, correspondent of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenian Service.
Together with other media representatives the journalist approached Gagik Tsarukyan, who had visited “EXPO-Russia, Armenia and Iran” industry exhibition held in Yerevan, and asked him about the possibility of his return to politics. When as an example of his beneficence the businessman noted that he had built 2000 shops, which had been provided for free to the representatives of small and medium enterprises over a period of 3 years, the correspondent of Radio Liberty Armenian Service tried to make sure whether Gagik Tsarukyan had built those shops exclusively with his own money or with the contribution also of those who currently operate them. The question annoyed the businessman-deputy: he called Sisak Gabrielyan “a slanderer” and “a trained spy”. Besides, Tsarukyan claimed that it is because of such journalists and those who “trained and sent them” that most people today live “under the burden of loans”.
It is not the first time when politicians, high-ranking officials and other well-known figures try to put all the blame for the country’s unsolved problems on the media and journalists, ignoring those really responsible. Moreover, it is not the first time when on hearing an awkward question or a comment from media representatives, these figures lose self-control and move on to insults. This cannot but arouse indignation in journalistic circles.
We, the undersigned, demand from Gagik Tsarukyan to apologize to Radio Liberty Armenian Service and its correspondent Sisak Gabrielyan for unfounded insults and to refrain from using such language when speaking with journalists.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”
GORIS PRESS CLUB