April 2, 2020, Yerevan
On March 31, 2020 the RA National Assembly adopted a bill, which will give the government additional tools to fight the pandemic under the State of Emergency at the same time limiting the citizens’ rights to the protection of personal data, privacy, freedom of communication.
We acknowledge that in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies fundamental human rights and freedoms may be restricted for the sake of public safety. However, we want to emphasize that such restrictions are acceptable only at the minimum scale, necessary for achieving the set goals. Hence, the government must adhere to the principle of proportionality, as well as make sure that the restrictions are exercised with maximum transparency.
We hereby state that the government is accountable to the public even under the State of Emergency and is not exempt from responsibility for its actions. Sadly, the parliamentary debates of the aforementioned bill did not provide definitive answers to a range of key matters of public concern.
Based on the above, we call on the RA government and the Commandant’s Office, to duly inform the citizens which institutions (be them public or private) are analyzing the personal data of the citizens, what is being done to ensure the adequate level of protection and security of the data, as well as provide clear information on the results achieved by the implementation of these measures. We also find it expedient to provide for public oversight of data collection and processing.
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
RULE OF LAW NGO
JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE
GORIS PRESS CLUB
JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
“FEMIDA” PUBLIC ORGANIZATION