Regarding the RA National Assembly deputy Mher Sedrakian’s indecent behavior towards media representatives
On February 19, the day of the extraordinary session of the RA National Assembly, Mher Sedrakian, deputy from Republican Party of Armenia faction, showed extremely indecent behavior when communicating with journalists. First, noticing the correspondents gathered in the parliament lobby, he said loudly: “What herd is this?”. Then, when the media representatives demanded explanation, the MP tried to pretend innocent and later he used profanities towards one of the journalists. Not being sufficed with that, Mher Sedrakian attempted to take him to a “private conversation”.
By the way it is not the first time that the same MP demonstrates such behavior towards the parliamentary journalists. Thus, on December 19, 2012 Sedrakian reacted with the threat to “break the chin” and other indecent expressions to “A1+” TV company correspondent Mher Arshakian’s attempt to ask him a question. On May 22, 2014 he swore at Tert.am correspondent. Although the National Assembly Committee on Ethics considered Mher Sedrakian’s behavior and decided that by insulting “A1+” correspondent he had violated the parliamentarian ethics, this has apparently had no influence on the RPA member.
We, the undersigned, express our resentment towards Mher Sedrakian’s appalling behavior. Taking into consideration the fact that there have been a number of such incidents provoked by other MPs and officials as well, we demand:
– The leadership of the Republican Party discuss the matter of their fellow party member and hold him accountable by calling on him to voluntarily lay down his parliamentary mandate;
– The Speaker of the National Assembly, along with the RPA faction, publicly condemn the MP’s behavior, apologize to all the parliamentarian journalists, which were insulted, and guarantee that such incidents will never happen again.
If our demands are not fulfilled, we will have grounds to assert that the behavior of Mher Sedrakian and his like is a norm for the Republican Party and different government circles. If the Armenian authorities are unable or unwilling to protect journalists from various threats, pressure and harassment, we will be forced to turn to the international community, urging them to apply personal sanctions against persons that periodically and demonstratively violate the law and are not subjected to liability in their country.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB