YPC Weekly Newsletter

2011


COURT RULES TO PUBLISH A REFUTATION IN A CEASED NEWSPAPER

On September 27 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan released a ruling on the suit of Susanna Baghdasarian, dweller of Areni village, Vayots Dzor region, versus “Hayk” newspaper, its correspondent Arman Galoyan and inhabitant of Areni village Svetlana Arakelian. The reason for the suit became the piece “In the Wake of Murder”, published in “Hayk” on August 8, 2008. It told about the murder of Karen Manukian, committed by Susanna Baghdasarian’s spouse, Hamlet Baghdasarian. The article cited the opinion of the widow of the killed, Svetlana Arakelian, who spoke about the family of Baghdasarian rather unflatteringly, in particular about their death son. The plaintiff demanded to refute the information, defacing the memory of her son. The suit was taken into consideration on August 23, 2010, the hearings started on October 26, 2010.

According to the court ruling of September 27, 2011, the information subject to refutation was reflected not in the words of the journalist, but in the quoted opinion of Svetlana Arakelian, consequently the information was to be refuted by Svetlana Arakelian and published in “Hayk” newspaper.

Meanwhile, “Hayk” newspaper stopped its issues since mid-summer 2010.

On September 28 Arman Galoyan, presently correspondent of “Zhoghovurd” newspaper and Lragir.am online publication, released a statement, which considers the court ruling and the whole court proceedings as a clownery. The journalist particularly emphasized that when submitting the suit into consideration after two years of the publication of the contested article, the court disregarded the Part 2 of Clause 1 of Article 8 of the Law “On Mass Communication”. The Article prescribes that the demand on refutation of information can be made within a month after its release. Likewise Arman Galoyan justifies his refusal to participate in the litigation. Moreover, the court bound Svetlana Arakelian to publish a refutation in a newspaper which has ceased to exist since July 2010, the statement notes. All the above, according to Arman Galoyan, is supposed to be “either a political intimidation, or premeditated illiteracy”.