July 04, 2020, Yerevan
Yesterday, on July 3, policemen visited ArmNews and Channel 5 TV stations, with the aim of initiating administrative proceedings for not wearing a mask on TV.
Even taking into account the requirements under the state of emergency related to the coronavirus epidemic, we consider the action applied by the law enforcement to be an abuse of power. In the conditions of political and psychological tension in the society, the authorities should be more careful and avoid taking unnecessarily strict steps. We are convinced that the issue of wearing a mask or not wearing it on air could be solved differently, through discussions, clarifications, and mutual agreements.
We, the undersigned organizations, demand from the Government and the Commandant’s Office as follows:
- not to use law enforcement agencies in actions beyond their typical scope of functions and exclude their interference in the activities of the media;
- to revise and clarify the limitations on working conditions related to the media because of the epidemic, taking into account the peculiarities of the media, especially TV․
We urge the media to refrain from any possible violations of the decisions passed by the Commandant’s Office, realizing their own share of responsibility for the health of both fellow citizens and their employees.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ CLUB “ASPAREZ”
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB