The third quarter of 2013 was a considerably tense period for the Armenian media and journalists. This was related to a number of events that occurred in the public life. In particular, cases of intolerance to the work of journalists were registered at the time of civic movements against the attempt to increase the city transport fare and to make the “Closed Market” into “Yerevan City” supermarket.
In the period covered by this report the civil defamation and insult suits against journalists and the media increased by 8 and their number reached 20 in the 9 months of this year.
Among the events related to the legal framework of media regulation mention should be made of the fact that on 30 September the RA National Assembly passed in the second reading and in its entirety the draft on supplementing the RA Law on Copyright and Related Rights. Thus, the current law was supplemented with Article 22.1 which regulates the terms for using materials from other media.
Only one case of physical violence against journalists was registered in the third quarter of 2013. The number of incidents of pressure against the media and their workers reached 15 this quarter, of which 8 were the aforementioned court cases, 6 were cases of obstructed work during civic movements and 1 – a case of pressure of another type. As regards the violations of the right to receive and impart information, in the third quarter of this year the CPFE registered 2 cases.
Hence, in the third quarter of 2013 the violations of the rights of the media and journalists increased by 2 compared with the same period of 2012 and decreased by 10 compared with the previous quarter of 2013 (See Tables 1 and 2).
In what follows we present these cases in more detail.
The Media Environment
The third quarter of 2013 was a considerably tense period for the Armenian media and journalists.
Starting from the first quarter of 2012 until the second quarter of 2013 inclusive the CPFE registered that the important events in the domestic political life, and in particular the state and local elections contributed to the increase of the violations threatening freedom of expression.