On October 19 the Chief Editors of “Aravot”, “Yerkir”, “Zhamanak”, “Zhoghovurd”, “Haykakan Zhamanak”, “Hraparak”, “168 Zham”, “Chorrord Inknishkhanutiun” newspapers made a statement, assessing the Article 1087.1 of RA Civil Code (“Order and Conditions of Compensation of Damage to the Honor, Dignity or Business Reputation”) and its application by courts as unconstitutional. “The number of suits versus print media increases, mainly seeking to stop the activities of newspapers by imposition of large fines, or to compel them to self-censorship,” the statement of the eight newspapers’ heads stresses in particular. The signatories called upon the RA Constitutional Court to suspend the litigations on defamation cases at courts, until the Constitutional Court renders a judgment on the compliance of Article 1087.1 of Civil Code to Article 14, Parts 1, 2, 3 of Article 27, and Article 43 of the Main Law. As it has been reported, on October 13 RA Human Rights Defender Karen Andreassian appealed to the Constitutional Court questioning the constitutionality of the abovementioned provisions on defamation (see YPC Weekly Newsletter, October 7-13, 2011).
On October 25 the application of the ombudsman was taken into consideration. The hearings will start on November 15, 2011. The RA National Assembly will appear as respondent in the case.