On September 4, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan started hearings on defamation lawsuit filed by “Nor Serund” (“New Generation”) NGO representatives Grigor Gevorgian, Arman Sahakian and Hovhannes Mkrtchian against the Chief Editor of “Iravunk” newspaper Hovhannes Galajian and Chairman of Editorial Board of the newspaper Hayk Babukhanian.
The reason of the lawsuit was the article of the Chief Editor of the newspaper 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 above mentioned representatives of “Nor Serund” were among the people who made the list (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 9-15, 2014). The lawsuit was filed on June 19 and was taken into the consideration of the court on June 24. The plaintiffs demand to publish a refutation and pay 3 million AMD (about 5,400 euros) in compensation to damage caused by libel and insult.
The homophobic piece by “Iravunk” Editor was disputed in two other lawsuits as well. Proceedings on one of them began in the same Court of General Jurisdiction on August 21. The class action against the founder of “Iravunk”, “Iravunk Media” LLC, and newspaper Chief Editor Hovhannes Galajian was filed on June 16 by representatives of 16 NGOs, and was accepted on June 18. The plaintiffs demand refutation of the defamatory information and pay compensation for the damage caused by libel and insult in the amount of 5 million AMD – about 9,000 Euros (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 23-29, 2014).
Complaint by Iranian citizen Romik Danial, who also made the “black list of traitors of the nation”, was also filed on June 16 and accepted on June 20 accordingly by the same Court of General Jurisdiction. The lawsuit against “Iravunk” newspaper and its Chief Editor contains a request to refute the defamatory statements about the plaintiff. At the same time, no claims for financial compensation has been filed yet. The hearings on this case are scheduled for November 4, 2014.