The European Court on Human Rights communicated to RA Government the application of the founder of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily, “Dareskizb” LLC, related to the violation of the daily’s rights during the enforcement of the state of emergency in Yerevan in March 2008. As it has been reported, since March 1, 2008 a 20-days state of emergency was declared in Yerevan. The decree of the RA President on the state of emergency stipulated, in particular, that “the media publications on state and inner political issues can be made exclusively within official information, released by state bodies”. While censorship was not listed among the restrictions, imposed by the Decree, moreover, according to Article 4 of the RA Law “On Mass Communication”, it is actually prohibited, these days not only in Yerevan, but also all over the country factual pre-emptive censorship was practiced (see details in “On Freedom of Speech in Armenia” Yerevan Press Club report for 2008 on www.ypc.am in “Media Reports” section).
The suit of “Haykakan Zhamanak” founder versus Republic of Armenia was submitted to ECHR in December 2008. According to the plaintiff, throughout the enforcement of the state of emergency the requirements of Parts 1 and 2 of Article 10 (“Freedom of Expression”) and Article 15 (“Derogation in Time of Emergency”) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms were violated. Besides, the founder of “Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that Part 1 of Article 6 of the European Convention (“Right to a Fair Trial”) was also violated, as in 2008 none of its suits was taken into consideration by any court instance of Armenia.