May 30, 2019, Yerevan
Yesterday, on May 29, PAP President Gagik Tsaroukyan, while complaining from the journalists, said insulting expressions in their address, then stated, that they carry out orders and take money for asking him unpleasant questions. In particular, Gagik Tsaroukyan pointed out Hripsime Jebejyan, journalist from “Aravot.am”, and said that she should account for the questions she asked.
This is not the first case when the PAP leader demonstrates such behavior. Unfortunately, he is not the only one: we have recorded a number of facts when representatives from various political parties, public officials, businessmen and other public figures insult or try to press on and “teach lessons” to mass media representatives when replying to undesired questions in communication with them.
During the last month, such behavior was demonstrated by Armen Tavadyan, owner of “5th channel” TV Company, towards Gevorg Tosunyan, journalist from “Civilnet.am” news site; former parliamentarian Roubik Hakobyan towards Public TV commentator Petros Ghazaryan, Gevorg Danielyan, acting president of the Supreme judicial council, towards Artak Khoulyan, correspondent from radio “Liberty”, etc.
We, the undersigned organizations, express our indignation in relation to these incidents and consider unacceptable such behavior towards journalists carrying out their professional duties. Moreover, these incidents are coupled not only with insulting expressions, but also slander and undermining the journalist’s honor and dignity, which can become a matter for trial.
Taking into consideration the aforementioned, we demand from politicians, public officials to demonstrate tolerance and restraint when communicating with the mass media representatives. At the same time, we call for the latter, while not avoiding to ask sharp questions, to demonstrate necessary delicacy and responsibility, to remain dedicated to the norms of professional ethics, as very often tensed situations created because of political motivations can turn the extremely hot as such atmosphere in the media field into an explosive one.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE
JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
GORIS PRESS CLUB