20 June, 2019, Yerevan
Yesterday, on 19 June, Gagik Tsarukyan, leader of the Prosperous Armenia party treated journalists with disrespect. In response to the question of Ruzanna Stepanyan from Radio Liberty on the need to abide by the law, he became angry and aggressively retorted: “You abide by the all with your kindred.” In a vocabulary quite typical of him, Tsarukyan accused the journalist and her colleagues of performing certain assignments and of “empty talks.”
This is already the fourth incident in the last month when the same person treats journalists who perform their professional functions with disrespect and floods them with insults. Moreover, in one case when he did not like the question of Hripsime Jebejyan from “Aravot” daily, the leader of the Prosperous Armenian threatened her by saying that she would answer for that.
These successive incidents testify that regardless of the fact that he has led a party represented in the NA for many years, he still did not manage to obtain skills important for a politician – tolerance, ability to communicate with the media workers and reserve.
We, the undersigned journalistic organisations are deeply disturbed with the behaviour of the leader of the largest opposition faction in the parliament and demand that:
- Gagik Tsarukyan officially apologises to Ruzanna Stepanyan from Radio Liberty, Hripsime Jebejyan from “Aravot” daily and to all journalists who he insulted and offers assurances that such a behaviour will not be repeated;
- The leadership of the National Assembly examines Gagik Tsarukyan’s behaviour towards the journalists accredited in the parliament and assesses them from the point of view of parliamentarian ethics.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB