On March 30 the acting RA President signed into law two pieces of new legislation adopted by the National Assembly at its last extraordinary session, which pose serious threats to freedom of information and limit journalists’ work. These are the law “On Government Structure and Activity” and law “On Local Self-Government in The City of Yerevan”. The first one of those laws stipulates that the sessions of the country’s top executive body should be held behind closed doors, the second one creates obstacles for the media representatives covering the sessions of Yerevan’s Elder’s council.
We, the undersigned, are noting that the ruling coalition has once again,as in many occasions in the past, neglected the criticism from the journalists and civil society organizations directed at these laws. Moreover, the National Assembly failed to organize public debates on the draft laws before taking them on the agenda. Additionally, the changes to the law “On Local Self-Government in The City of Yerevan,” which mostly dealt with the work of the media and go counter to the principles of transparency in the work of local self-government bodies, were adopted with obvious violations of the working procedures.
Given all of the above, we state the following:
– We will start a process and implement all possible steps to undo the retrograde provisions of the stated laws,
– We will try to garner support on this cause from all interested institutions and individuals, as well as international organizations.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ “ASPAREZ” CLUB
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB
“THE RIGHT OF LAW” NGO