YPC Weekly Newsletter

2001


WHAT TO REFUTE IF THERE IS NOTHING TO REFUTE?

On June 12 in the city of Masis at the court of primary jurisdiction of Ararat region the suit of Marineh Gabrielian versus the local newspaper “Ararat” on the protection of honor and dignity continued, having been previously interrupted on June 8.

The case has a long history. Last year in June, when Ms. Gabrielian was a candidate to take over the position of the head of the village, “Ararat” newspaper, during the pre-election campaign, published a letter, signed by 115 villagers, containing compromising information, including the fact that the candidate had kept an Azerbaijan prisoner and sold him. 

Marineh Gabrielian, who lost the elections at that time, addressed the court with the demand to publish a refutation. However, during a year the plaintiff did not introduce the text of the refutation; moreover, she did not even specify what is to be refuted and on what grounds.

Meanwhile, at the ordinary court session the attorneys of Ms. Gabrielian maintained that the respondent, in particular the Chief Editor of the newspaper Karineh Ashughian should be charged with the duty of preparing a refutation. Remarkably, the villagers came to support the Chief Editor, confirming the validity of the letter published, whereas the plaintiff brought no witnesses to the contrary. 

The suit is under way. The court is expected to make a decision on Friday, June 15. So far no predictions can be made as to the final verdict. It remains to be noted that, according to the existing RA Law “On Press and Other Media Outlets”, the plaintiff has already violated the terms and the procedure of a refutation or a response to the publication.