On January 17, Yerevan Press Club addressed Sergey Karapetian, employee of the Division for Registering Public Associations, Non-for-Profit Legal Persons, Unions and Media of the State Register Department of the RA Ministry of Justice, with a request of providing information on the number of media registered in Armenia as of January, 2002. In reply Mr. Karapetian said that according to the RA Law "On State Registration of Legal Persons", enacted since August, 2001, this information is provided only after an appropriate application and the payment of a state fee of 1,000 drams (about $2). Having expressed his disagreement with the innovation, Mr. Karapetian found it difficult to mention the specific terms of the provision of information after the necessary procedure is carried out by the applicant.
Sharing the disagreement of Sergey Karapetian, we looked up the Law "On Sate Registration of Legal Persons", Article 4 of which stipulates, in particular, that "(…) a fee is charged for the use of information from the state register, and the amount (…) of this fee is defined by the RA Law "On State Fees".
Unfortunately, the Armenian journalists have long been used to the overcoming of all possible barriers on the thorny path to official information. Yet, in this specific case the situation gains special “piquancy”, considering the fact that the draft law on freedom of information awaits its consideration at the spring session of the National Assembly.