December 10, 2018, Yerevan
We, the undersigned media organizations, state that the snap parliamentary elections held in Armenia on December 9, 2018, qualitatively differed from all the previous ones in terms of favorable conditions for journalists and the media outlets and for their operation without restraint. On the actual election day, no serious case of physical violence or impeding the professional activity of a journalist was recorded; the few slight incidents were settled immediately. This is an unprecedented thing, which should be made a tradition.
At the same time, we have recorded, that during the pre-election period, on December 7, some police officers, evidently abusing their power, took illegal actions at the editorial office of the “news.am” news site. The law enforcement officers demanded from the media outlet grounds proving the contents of the online speech by one of the politicians, which is funny from the perspective of mass media operation norms and rights. Earlier, on November 20, a similar demand was introduced to “aysor.am” editorial. Moreover, so far the RA Police and the Investigative Committee have not introduced any weighty grounds and arguments to the public about the need and the results of the search conducted at “Yerevan.today”.
From the perspective of freedom of expression and unrestrained operation of media outlets, it is very much problematic, that along with the democratic developments, the law enforcement body sometimes take voluntary actions against mass media.
Taking into consideration the aforementioned, we the new authorities, formed as a result of elections, for taking measures to keep the mass media free from illegal actions by the police, and for ensuring more favorable conditions for journalists and media outlets to operate, irrespective of their political affiliation.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ “ASPAREZ” CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER OF ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB