YPC Weekly Newsletter

2002


STATEMENT BY MEDIA AND JOURNALISTIC ASSOCIATIONS OF ARMENIA

On February 21 in Yerevan a joint conference of media and journalistic associations was held. The conference participants adopted a statement on the draft of RA Law “On Mass Communication”, developed by the RA Ministry of Justice and approved by the Government.

"The recent announcements by RA Minister of Justice David Haroutiunian make it clear that despite the numerous protests, the Government, nevertheless, intends to submit the draft law “On Mass Communication” to the consideration of the National Assembly of Armenia. According to the Minister, the tumult started about the draft is a result of misinterpretations. This viewpoint is unjustified and insulting to us. 

Considering the presence of a number of major controversies and drawbacks in the draft law, we join the appeal voiced earlier and suggest that the draft law should not be introduced to the Parliament.  Otherwise we, proceeding from the necessity to protect the freedom of information and democracy, reserve the right to make every effort for the dismissal of the officials who, by their deliberate support to this draft, attempt to lead the country away from democratic development.

At the same time we confirm our willingness to contribute to the development of another draft law, which would be truly compliant with the democratic standards, while continuing to operate under the existing legislation.

We call upon the public to assist us and remain watchful to prevent the retreat from the achievements of the freedom of speech.

In order for the Government not to reiterate that the statements of media and journalistic associations are groundless, herein the comments on the main unacceptable and antidemocratic articles and provisions of the draft are enclosed, not as proposals, but as an argument for the rejection of the draft law presented."

(See the comments on the draft law prepared by the journalistic associations.)

At the meeting of editors, organized an hour later, it was decided to establish a coordination council comprising representatives of media and journalistic associations to protect the interests of media in the conflict started.