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.
By decision of the RA National Assembly Speaker the draft law “On the Structure and Activities of the Government”, which has not undergone thorough public discussion and has been harshly criticized by the media and non-governmental organizations, was placed on the agenda of the extraordinary session to be convened following the end of the February 27, 2018 regular sessions.
Yesterday, on February 19, at the Yerevan Municipality, they impeded professional activity of Ruzanna Stepanyan and Susanna Poghosyan, correspondents from Radio “Liberty” and “A1+” TV Company respectively. The journalists were there upon the invitation by Zarouhi Postanjyan, Head of the “Yerkir Tsirani” faction in the City Council, who intended to introduce to them a number of problems. In particular, the fact that after the incident that happened during the session of the City Council on February 13, their faction car was not allowed to enter the parking lot of the municipality. Zarouhi Postanjyan also introduced the fact of playing cards in the municipality offices by certain people during the working hours.
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.
On November 23, 2017, the RA Ministry of Justice issued a response to November 20, 2017 statement by Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, Yerevan Press Club and Media Initiatives Center regarding the adoption of the RA new draft Law “On Television and Radio” by the Government of Armenia. The response attempts to put into doubt the statement of journalistic organizations
The National Commission on TV and radio announced the organized by it second tender for the licensing of the operation of the private multiplexor as failed. The first tender organized a year ago had the same fate. This means that the public network of digital broadcasting, i.e. public multiplexor will still have the monopoly and will dictate its conditions in the field.
30 lawsuits by school and kindergarten directors against Daniel Ioannisyan, program coordinator of the “Union of Informed Citizens” NGO, founder of “Sut.am” news site, 16 lawsuits by advocates against “News AM” Ltd, founder of “News.am” media outlet.
One year ago, on the night of July 29-30, 2016, after the attack by the “Sasna tsrer” grouping on the Patrol service regiment of the RA police on Khorenatsi Street in Yerevan, the dramatic events that lasted for two weeks reached their pick. As a result of actions initiated by the authorities, the armed grouping gave in, and the continuing anti-government protests were pressed down through using tear-gas, sound grenades and other special means.
At the Malatia police station of Yerevan Department of the RA police a decision was made to refuse to file a criminal case on the threats and insults towards Hripsime Jebejyan, journalist from “Aravot.am” at the polling station 7/46 on May 14, on the day of elections to the Yerevan local council.
Today it is two years since the “Electric Yerevan” civil movement was pressed down through use of force.
When dispersing the protests against the increase of price for electricity on June 23, 2015 on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan the police demonstrated unprecedented ferocity against the media representatives as well. 13 journalists and cameramen from various media outlets underwent physical violence, and the professional activity of another 11 was illegally impeded through deliberate breaking or damaging of the photo- and video-cameras, seizing the memory cards and destroying the shot materials, as well as through other means.