YPC Weekly Newsletter

2004


2003: YEAR OF ELECTIONS AND LITIGATIONS

Yerevan Press Club and the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression published
Annual Report “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia”. The Annual Report presents
in chronological order the events in media sphere of Armenia in 2003, related
to journalists and media rights. For the “fourth estate” of the country, 2003
is primarily characterized by election campaigns and litigations.

The Report of YPC and the Committee registers various forms of violations of
journalists’ rights for the past year, the period of parliamentary and presidential
elections included: starting from obstacles in fulfilling professional duty
up to the cases of intimidation, pressure and violence.

Out of 12 litigations related to journalists and media, the most loud and covered
one became the trial on the murder of the Chairman of the Council of RA Public
TV and Radio Company, Tigran Naghdalian – an unprecedented crime in the history
of independent Armenian journalism and the first case with punishment of the
perpetrators. Three trials were on TV and radio broadcast licensing competitions.
In particular, the suits, filed in 2003 by the founder of “A1+” TV
company versus National Commission on Television and Radio, protested the decisions
of National Commission on issuing licenses for a number of frequencies. Refusal
of broadcast licensing to “A1+” (staring from loss of air in April
2002, the company unsuccessfully participated in 8 competitions) was characterized
as a negative phenomenon in all the reports of international organizations,
also included in the Annual Report of YPC and the Committee.

Besides, the Report reflects last year changes in the media legislation: adoption
of Laws “On Mass Communication” and “On Freedom of Information”, introduction
of amendments in the broadcast law, etc.

See details of the above-mentioned and other media events in 2003 in the Annual
Report of Yerevan Press Club and Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
“2003: Year of Elections and Litigations” on YPC web site: www.ypc.am
in “Studies” section.