Freedom of Speech

Armenian newspapers threatened by libel suits with sky-high damages awards

Reporters without Borders

Reporters Without Borders is concerned about all the libel actions being brought against Armenian newspapers and the disproportionate damages being demanded, which threaten their survival and create a climate that encourages self-censorship. This tendency to use lawsuits to throttle news media must be reined in.
The repeal of jail sentences for libel and slander in April 2010 was hailed as a democratic advance but judicial harassment of the media continues. There were 12 defamation actions during the first quarter of 2011 alone. Independent newspapers are the leading targets. The daily Jamanak is currently the subject of three different lawsuits. Haykakan Jamanak and Hraparak are also being sued.

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Ombudsman cannot protect people from non-state bodies

Karen Andreasyan, Armenian human rights ombudsman

On April 26th 2011, the Armenian human rights ombudsman, Karen Andreasyan, has met with journalists for the first time since his appointment, during which he introduced the list of government bodies against which his office could intervene to assist in the restoration of people’s rights violated by the aforementioned authoritative bodies.

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Journalists barred from elucidating court session

Photo by epress.am

On April 15th, 2011 in a court session held in “The Convicts’ Hospital” penitentiary the suit of “A and M Rei Air” Ltd. against political prisoner and former NA deputy Sasun Miqaelyan was heard/ judge Nune Poghosyan/. The journalists were barred from elucidating the session, thought it was an open door. Only the editor of “Nation” daily paper Taguhi Tovmasyan was allowed to participate.

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Committee to Protect Freedom of Speech published 1st quarterly report

CPFS president Ashot Melikyan. Image (c) news.am

On April 12th 2011, the Committee to Protect Freedom of Speech has published its first quarterly report (January-March 2011) on freedom of speech, media rights violations and journalists. It concluded that the first quarter of 2011 was unprecedented due to the abundance of legal actions against the media. The Committee to Protect Freedom of Speech recorded 10 new cases which are directly connected to the package bills on the decriminalisation of articles for defamation and insult adopted on May 18th 2010.

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Գյումրիում նշեցին Խոսքի Ազատության Օրը

xosqaz

Մարտի 25-ին Գյումրիում, Կինո «Հոկտեմբերի» հանդիսությունների տանը հանդիսավորությամբ նշվեց Խոսքի ազատության օրը, որն ավանդաբար նշվում է այն օրը, երբ համաժողովրդական հանգանակության եւ զորակցության շնորհիվ հնարավոր եղավ պաշպանել ԳԱԼԱ ՀԸ-ն իշխանությունների աննախադեպ հարձակումից եւ եթերազրկման սպառնալիքից:

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