CPFE Quarterly Report (July-September 2012)

On the Situation with Freedom of Speech and

Violations of Rights of Journalists and Media in Armenia

Brief Summary

The Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression observes the Armenian media and media staff related conditions, events and problems and provides quarterly and annual reports on the situation of freedom of expression in Armenia, violations of rights of media and journalists, including legislative changes, recommendations and procedures regulating the field, the influence of the economic environment and political factors on the media.

The third quarter of 2012 was a period involving local governmental bodies’ elections. So both media related preelectoral situation and the events taking place on the elections days (September 9 and 23) were of great interest, in connection with the impact of political factors on media, as in a strained political atmosphere the number of pressures on media and media staff usually increases.

During the elections of local authorities 5 cases of violation were fixed, 1 out of which was a case of physical violence and 4 of them were cases of hindrance to the receipt and dissemination of information. Though, in comparison with parliamentary elections, the situation was better (7 cases), the number of violations of the rights of media and media staff increased in comparison with the third quarter of 2011.

It’s worth mentioning that in the third quarter of 2012 the number of claims filed against media and media staff based on Article 1087.1 of the RA Civil Code has decreased in comparison with the same period of 2011. This positive trend has been noticed since the beginning of 2012.

In the third quarter of 2012, like in the same period of 2011, a case of physical violence was fixed. The number of pressures on media and media staff decreased by 3 and the number of cases of hindrance to the receipt and dissemination of information increased by 6, in comparison with the third quarter of 2011.

It’s worth paying attention to the fact that since September 10 the informative analytical program of the “A1 +” TV, “Ayb-Fe” has been broadcast via “Armnews” TV. The agreement on cooperation between two TV companies was made for a year, and the parties came to an agreement that the “Armnews” would not intervene in the editorial policy of the “A1+.”

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