Regarding the adoption of legal provisions restricting the freedom of information and the media coverage of the activities of the Armenian Government and Yerevan local self-government body
On March 30, 2018, the incumbent RA President signed into law two documents adopted by the RA National Assembly on March 23, 2018, which pose serious threats to freedom of information and restrict journalists’ activities. These are the RA Law “On the Structure and Activities of the Government” and the RA Law “On Local Self-Government in the City of Yerevan”. The first document envisages conduct of Government sessions behind closed doors. The second one restricts the coverage of Yerevan Council of Elders sessions by the media.
We, the undersigned, note that the ruling coalition has once again, as on many occasions in the past, neglected the criticism by journalists and civil society organizations with regard to the drafts of these laws. Moreover, the National Assembly failed to organize public debates on the draft laws before placing them on the session agenda. Moreover, the amendments to the Law “On Local Self-Government in the City of Yerevan,” which mostly deal with the work of the media and run contrary to the principles of transparency in the activities of local self-government bodies, were adopted with flagrant procedural violations.
We state that:
– We will initiate a process and take all the possible steps to abolish the regressive provisions of the above-mentioned laws;
– To achieve the goal set we will strive to obtain the support of all the stakeholders in society and individuals, as well as international organizations.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”
GORIS PRESS CLUB
“HUMAN RIGHTS POWER”