27 January, 2021, Yerevan
On 26 January Syuzi Badoyan, a “Yerevan.today” correspondent was prohibited from entering the National Assembly. The journalist had agreed with Arman Ambovyan, MP from the Prosperous Armenia party about an interview and received a pass with the signature of the head of the entry permissions division. However, this was discarded. The prohibition came right after the deprivation of Syuzi Badoyan’s accreditation after a heated argument with the MP Hayk Sargsyan, which we have addressed in a separate statement.
We, the undersigned journalistic organisations deem this incident as a groundless pressure on the journalist. We record that albeit deprivation of Syuzi Badoyan’s accreditation was a problematic process, it could not have served as an occasion – even if grounded – to probibit a journalist from entering the NA, especially when she possessed a pass.
In our previous statement we were calling on the National Assembly to pay a special attention to the problems emerging between MPs and journalists and see to it that appropariate mechanisms are put in place to examine them. Since relations inside the parliament are largely conditioned by the conduct of MPs, we urged the NA leadership to examine Hayk Sargsyan’s conduct. However, this wasn’t found necessary and measures were taken in respect of the journalist only.
Considering the aforementioned, we demand that the NA staff do not create artificial obstacles for journalistic activity, clarify the conditions of work with the media representatives and improve the procedure for accreditation of journalists in the NA. We also reassert our previous call regarding consideration of the conflicts emerging in relations between MPs and journalists by the temporary ethics commission.
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