On May 18 in Yerevan the presentation of “Monitoring of Democratic Reforms
in Armenia” interim report was held. The report was produced under a homonymous
project of Yerevan Press Club, supported by Open Society Institute Human Rights
and Governance Program, with the involvement of a number of NGOs – members of
“Partnership for Open Society” initiative.
The research presented to the public was to determine to what extent Armenia
honors its commitments with regard to human rights during the four years of
membership in the Council of Europe. The interim report was prepared as of March
1, 2005 and is composed of the following sections: constitutional reform; electoral
legislation and practice; judicial reform; demonstrations, meetings and freedom
of movement; torture and ill-treatment; the institute of human rights defender;
freedom of conscience and religious organizations; rights of ethnic minorities;
alternative military service; freedom of expression and information.
In the section of the report on freedom of expression and information the media
legislation and situation are analyzed. It, in particular, presents the findings
of the TV channel monitoring in Armenia, reflecting the condition of the broadcast
sphere after a number of laws were adopted, as stipulated by the commitments.
The monitoring of the five TV companies was administered by Yerevan Press Club
on February 1-28, 2005 and had two main objectives: to determine the degree
to which the leading broadcast media meet the information demands of the society
and whether different viewpoints on most important public and political issues
are represented on TV air. The findings of the research allow stating that the
Armenian broadcast media market, shaped during the period of fulfilling the
commitments to the Council of Europe – even though their number , over 60, is
rather big for a small country with a 3-million population – insufficiently
meet the demands of the public and the targets of societal development.
The interim report “Monitoring of Democratic Reforms in Armenia” will soon
be at YPC web-site www.ypc.am in three languages (Armenian, English, Russian).