YPC Weekly Newsletter

2007


REPORT OF THE RA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER FOR 2006

On March 30 the Annual Report of the RA Human Rights Defender Armen Harutiunian
on the Activities of the Defender and the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Violations in Armenia in 2006 was released. One of its sections is dealing with
freedom of expression. Making a reference to his experience, the ombudsman,
in particular, noted the frequent infringements of the constitutional right
to information – “due to the absence of appropriate sublegal acts, ensuring
the procedure for realizing the right to information”. The document also contains
criticism of a number of provisions of the draft law “On Lobbyist Activities”.
In the opinion of the Defender, the adoption of this draft can result in breach
of several articles of the RA Constitution, including Article 27, according
to which “everyone has a right to freedom of speech, including the freedom to
seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless
of the state borders”. The cases of violence against journalists that occurred
in 2006, impeding their professional activities are qualified in the ombudsman’s
Report as a threat to “complete insurance of the right to freedom of speech
in Armenia”. “The RA Human Rights Defender made strong criticism of these attempts
and made an official statement calling on law enforcement bodies to be more
consistent in disclosing each case of interfering with professional activities
of journalists and ensuring the liability of those guilty according to the law”,
the Annual Report of the RA Human Rights Defender Armen Harutiunian notes.