On October 20, court of general jurisdiction continued hearings of the class action lawsuit against the homophobic article by the Chief Editor of “Iravunk” newspaper.
As we have reported, on August 21, Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan began the trial on the lawsuit filed by representatives of 16 NGOs versus the founder of “Iravunk”, “Iravunk Media” LLC, and newspaper Chief Editor Hovhannes Galajian. The reason for the class action was the piece by newspaper’s Chief Editor titled “They Serve the Interests of the International Homosexual Lobby: Black List of Enemies of the Nation and the State”, published in “Iravunk” on May 17, 2014. The piece presented the “black list of traitors of the nation” – “lobbyists of homosexuals, aggressively trying to impose their rules in our country”, and contained links to their Facebook pages. The plaintiffs demand refutation of the defamatory information and compensation for the damage caused by libel and insult in the amount of 5 million AMD (about 9,000 Euros).
The lawyer of the plaintiffs noted in her speech that “3,500 and more views prove the publicity of the piece. The piece discredits the honor of the plaintiffs because it accuses them for treason, which is a criminal offense. The piece also intends to offend the plaintiffs as the author asks the relevant state bodies to fire those people, and calls on the journalists to refrain from their ‘lobbying’, basically pushing for aggressive actions” (hereafter quoted from Epress.am).
At the same time, as Epress.am notes, during the entire court session “Iravunk” Chief Editor continued to insult the plaintiffs. The respondent’s lawyer was speaking in the same tone, using a word, probably of his own invention, “goluboyism” (“faggot”). He stated that Armenian Constitution gives everyone the right to express their opinion. Hovhannes Galajian expressed his opinion that “goluboyism” was a threat to national security, and the lawyer shared his opinion, writes Epress.am.
The court is expected to deliver the ruling on the case on October 30.
The homophobic piece by “Iravunk” Chief Editor is disputed in two other lawsuits as well, considered by the same Court of General Jurisdiction (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 1-8, 2014).