YPC Weekly Newsletter

2009


CPJ REPORT-2008: FREEDOM OF PRESS ENDANGERED BY INTENTION TO INDUCE A CLIMATE OF FEAR AND SELF-CENSORSHIP

On February 10 the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) publicized
its annual report on attacks on press in different countries of the world in
2008.

The CPJ report notes a number of tendencies, restricting freedom of expression.
According to the report, currently the greatest threats to freedom of the press
are more insidious than a generation ago because they are intended to induce
a climate of fear and self-censorship through systematic violence and emblematic
arrest aimed at those who would practice real, independent journalism. Other
world trends are violence against journalists and censorship on the Internet.

In the report section, dealing with Armenia, the situation during presidential
elections of February 19 2008 and the post electoral period is described. In
particular, the CPJ report says that on March 1 an emergency situation was introduced
and the independent news coverage was factually prohibited, and it also lists
incidents with media representatives. Of other incidents the report notes the
unpunished attacks on the correspondent of “Haikakan Zhamanak” daily Lusineh
Barseghian on August 11, 2008 and on the head of “Investigative Journalists”
NGO Edik Baghdasarian on November 17, 2008. CPJ also noted the judgment of the
European Court of Human Rights of June 17, 2008, ruling that Article 10 of European
Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was violated with regard
to “A1+” TV company, deprived of air since April 2008, and the reaction of the
Armenian authorities who, in particular, adopted an amendment to the Law “On
Television and Radio”, suspending the conductance of broadcast licensing competitions
till July 20, 2010.

In the section on Armenia other information is quoted as well, which however
is inaccurate or not duly confirmed. The report can be seen in full on the web-site
of the Committee to Protect Journalists at www.cpj.org