CPFE Quarterly Report (January-March 2013)

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

(January-March 2013)

Executive Summary

 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 presidential elections were not an exception. During February 18 presidential elections 5 cases of violation were fixed, 2 out of which were cases of physical violence and 3 of them were cases of pressure. One more incident was fixed on the first day of the electoral campaign, which was registered as a case of hindrance to the receipt and dissemination of information. Because of the electoral processes, the number of cases of pressure on media and media staff increased in the first quarter of 2013 in comparison with the same period of the previous year; 13 incidents were fixed. 6 out of them are court cases involving media, and 3 out of them are cases of hindrance to the receipt and dissemination of information.

See the details below.

 Media Activities Environment

As we already mentioned, the first quarter of 2013 was a period involving presidential elections. The CPFE has fixed that during elections media and media staff appear in quite strained conditions. As a result the number of violations of freedom of speech increases. In this regard, the first quarter of the 2013 was the logical continuation of 2012, when the violations of the rights of media and media staff increased significantly during the parliamentary and local elections.

2 cases of violence were fixed during the observed period, both of them were registered on the elections day, February 18. On the same day, other cases of hindrance to the legal professional duties of journalists were fixed, based on which the number of pressures on media and media staff reached 13.

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