On February 18 Yerevan Press Club, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression and “Asparez” Journalists Club of Gyumri released a statement regarding the court decision depriving “GALA” TV company of the right to use the city TV tower. As it has been reported, on February 17 court of general jurisdiction of Shirak region secured the demand of the plaintiff, Gyumri municipality, and obliged the “GALA” founder, “CHAP” LLC, to stop using the city TV tower and to dissemble the equipment installed on it within a month (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, February 11-17, 2011).
The statement of three journalistic NGOs highlights that the litigation between Gyumri city administration and the founder of “GALA” lasted more than 3 years, the case has been reviewed by all court jurisdictions, and the Court of Cassation has already rendered a judgment in favor of the TV company (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club reports for 2008 and 2009 on www.ypc.am in “Media Reports” section). The February 17, 2011 court ruling was assessed by the signatories as a “continuation of attempts to exert pressure on the TV company, initiated since 2007 by different power agencies, which creates new obstacles for freedom of expression and media”.
The statement authors called the respective agencies to stop the groundless pursuit versus “GALA”: “Stopping the pressure on media and ensuring a sound environment in the media field gains more importance ahead of the upcoming elections.”