CPFE Quarterly Report (April-June 2013)

On the Situation with Freedom of Speech and Violations of Rights of Journalists and Media in Armenia

(April-June 2013)

Executive Summary

 The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression is concerned with the conditions, events and objectives of the Armenian mass media and their employees and publishes quarterly and annual reports on the state of freedom of expression in Armenia and violations of the rights of the mass media and their workers. The reports refer to the amendments to the legislation regulating that sphere, the recommendations and processes concerning them, as well as the impact of political factors and the economic environment on the mass media.

The second quarter of 2013 was a period of local elections for the Council of the Elders of Yerevan Municipality. Therefore, various electoral campaign-related problems and events on the voting day were in the focus of public attention.

In previous years, one regularity that the CPFE had observed was that in the course of serious events affecting the internal political life in the country, especially the election-related tensions, pressure on the mass media and reporters, as well as the violations threatening freedom of expression increased. In this regard 2013 Yerevan local elections were not an exception. During May 5 elections 8 cases of violation were fixed, and a case of physical violence during the electoral campaign.

In the media related legal sphere amendments made to the RA Law “On Television and Radio” were of particular interest. According to these amendments the deadline for the total suspension of analogue broadcasting in Armenia was postponed till July 1, 2015 instead of January 1, 2015.

The initiative of editors of print and online media concerning the RA Law “On Copyright and Related Rights” was of interest. As a result, a number of parliamentarians taking into account the suggestions of the media directors introduced the changed version of the law for the discussion of the Government. The further procedure concerning the draft law is expected in September.

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