STATEMENT

On January 30, 2018 Radio “Free Europe”/Radio “Liberty” Armenian Service and many other media reported that thе editorial staff of Medialab.am had received serious threats from a Facebook user. This was triggered by the cartoon on the RA Defence Ministry 7 million AMD spending on flowers and corruption risks in the army published on Medialab.am several days before. Moreover, the perpetrator hinted that Medialab.am could suffer the fate of Charlie Hebdo, the French magazine, which was target of terrorist attack in Januray 2015.

According to Marianna Grigoryan, Editor-in-chief of the website, the media receives threats from time to time, but this one is extraordinary. Let us recall that in August 2016 unidentified persons broke the windows of Medialab.am Editor-in-chief’s car and stole 107 cartoons depicting the country’s top officials. However, the criminal case instituted regarding this incident was suspended because of the failure to identify the perpetrator.

In this case the Facebook user’s name is known, and even if his profile is fake, the law-enforcement bodies have every possibility to identify and disclose him.

Taking into consideration that:

  • the person sending threats, as an example of forthcoming danger for the editorial office, made reference to the tragedy suffered by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked by Islamic extremists and resulted in 10 dead;
  • considering the threat credible, Marianna Grigoryan turned to the law-enfocement bodies,

we, the undersigned, demand:

  • RA Prosecutor’s Office to institute a criminal case and undertake appropriate measures to thoroughly investigate the incident, to disclose the perpetrator and subject him to liability;
  • RA Police to exercise due control until the end of the above-mentioned process, and ensure the security of the editorial office.

 

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA

PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB

“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”

“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”

GORIS PRESS CLUB

 

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