Regarding the threats against the editorial staff of Medialab.am by a Facebook user
On January 30, 2018, Radio “Free Europe”/Radio “Liberty” Armenian Service and many other media reported that the editorial staff of Medialab.am had received serious threats from a Facebook user. This was triggered by a cartoon on the RA Defense Ministry published several days before. The drawing touched upon the 7 million AMD (approximately $14,000) spending on flowers by the Defense Ministry in 2017 and corruption risks in the army. The person sending threats warned that Medialab.am could suffer the fate of Charlie Hebdo, the French magazine, which was target of terrorist attack in January 2015.
According to Marianna Grigoryan, Medialab.am Editor-in-Chief, it is not the first time that the media receives threats, but this one is extraordinary. Let us note that in August 2016 unidentified persons broke the windows of Medialab.am Editor-in-Chief’s car and stole 107 cartoons depicting the country’s leaders and other top officials. However, the criminal case instituted regarding this incident was quashed because of the failure to identify the perpetrators.
This time the Facebook user’s name is known, and even if his profile is fake, the law-enforcement bodies have every possibility to disclose his identity.
Taking into consideration that:
– The person sending threats, speaking of potential danger for the editorial office, drew a parallel with the tragedy suffered by satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked by Islamic extremists and resulted in 12 dead;
– Considering the threat credible, Marianna Grigoryan turned to the law-enforcement bodies,
We, the undersigned, demand:
– RA Prosecutor’s Office to institute a criminal case and undertake appropriate measures to thoroughly investigate the incident, to disclose the person sending threats and subject him to liability;
– RA Police to ensure adequate protection and security of Medialab.am editorial office.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
“ASPAREZ” JOURNALISTS’ CLUB
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE”
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS”
GORIS PRESS CLUB