YPC Weekly Newsletter

2009


“The Coverage of the Activities of the RA Human Rights Defender’s Institute by Armenian Media”

“PRESS CLUB” CYCLE: SUMMING UP THE ELECTIONS TO YEREVAN COUNCIL OF ELDERLY

On June 6 the final “Press Club” show, dealing with the elections of Yerevan Council of Elderly, went on the air of “Yerkir Media” TV company. The guests of the program host, YPC President Boris Navasardian were political observer of “Aravot” daily Anna Israelian, the Deputy Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center Varuzhan Oktanian, politologist Ervand Bozoyan. The program participants summed up the elections to the Yerevan Council of Elderly, held on May 31, 2009.

The “Press Club” cycle was produced under Yerevan Press Club project, supported by the Open Society Institute.

RA HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER’S ACTIVITIES BY ARMENIAN MEDIA

On June 5-7 in Aghveran a seminar was held on “The Coverage of the Activities of the RA Human Rights Defender’s Institute by Armenian Media”. The event was organized by Yerevan Press Club with the assistance of Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Representatives of media, journalistic and human rights NGOs took part in the seminar.

The Head of the Public Relations and Information Department of RA Human Rights Defender, Grigori Grigoriants told about the cooperation between the ombudsman and media. The Chairman of Helsinki Committee of Armenia Avetik Ishkhanian introduced to the human rights situation in Armenia. The speech of RA Human Rights Defender Armen Harutiunian dealt with media coverage of the ombudsman’s reports. YPC President Boris Navasardian summarized the trends of the ombudsman’s institute coverage by the Armenian media, based on the monitoring findings implemented by Yerevan Press Club on March-April 2009. The reports of the Head of the Civil Society Institute Artak Kirakosian and the Advisor to the Human Rights Defender on Military and Military Servicemen Issues Alexander Avetisian were on the cooperation between human rights organizations and the ombudsman.

SUIT OF LEVON KOCHARIAN VERSUS “HAYKAKAN ZHAMANAK” FOUNDER PARTIALLY SECURED

On June 5 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan read out the decision on the suit to protect the honor and the dignity of Levon Kocharian, younger son of RA Second President Robert Kocharian, against the founder of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, “Dareskizb” LLC. As it has been reported, the court hearings of the suit had started on April 23, 2009. The reason of the lawsuit was the editorial “The Adventures of Robert’s Son in Dubai”, published in “Haykakan Zhamanak” on February 6, 2009. The piece informed about Levon Kocharian’s detention by police of Dubai, UAE, in the end of 2008. The plaintiff demanded to oblige the daily to publish a refutation and to compensate for moral losses in the amount of 16 million and 120 thousand AMD, about $ 43.500 (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, April 17-23, 2009).

The court partially secured the demands of the suit, by obliging the newspaper to publish a refutation, to pay off a sum of 3 million and 620 thousand AMD, and to compensate the sue charges of 72 thousand AMD. As YPC was informed by “Haykakan Zhamanak”, the founder of the daily intends to appeal the decision with the upper court jurisdiction.

HEARINGS ON THE CASE OF ASSAULT AGAINST THE HEAD OF “INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS” NGO STARTED

On June 4 court of general jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash communities of Yerevan started the hearings on the case of assault on the Head of “Investigative Journalists” NGO Edik Baghdasarian. As it has been reported, on November 17, 2008 having left the building, where the “Investigative Journalists” office is located, Edik Baghdasarian headed towards his car when he was assaulted by three strangers. The offenders started beating the journalist, struck him with a stone on his head. Edik Baghdasarian was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with brain concussion. Kentron Police Department of Yerevan instituted criminal proceedings on the incident (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, November 20-27, 2008 and November 14-19, 2008). The charge on Article 258 of RA Criminal Code (“Public disorder”) was brought with Karen Harutiunian, who appeared in court as one of the assaulters of Edik Baghdasarian.

Meanwhile, the piece about the beginning of litigation, published on the same day in “Hetq”, online-publication of “Investigative Journalists”, was emphasized: “The law enforcement bodies, however, did not reveal the other two with whom 20 years old Karen Harutiunian made the attack (…), and the client of this crime. K.Harutiunian not only denied his involvement in the incident but refused to give evidence, either. Nevertheless, the investigation took the charges pressed against him for granted (…).”

At the session of June 4, the court examined the victim and the part of the witnesses. During the court hearings of June 10 Karen Harutiunian did not plead guilty. The prosecution demanded to sentence the criminal to five and a half year of imprisonment. The next session is assigned on June 19.