Today, on 29 October, the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs prohibited the participation of a number of media organisations to its event entitled “20 Years after the October 27th: A Glance in Retrospect, Lessons and Thoughts.” The day before Styopa Safaryan, founder and head of AIISA, made a note on a Facebook page for mass media, indicating in particular that there would be no entry for the online media outlets “News.am”, “Hayeli.am”, “168.am”, “Yerevan Today”, “7or.am”, “Livenews.am” and the television companies “5th Channel” and «Yerkir Media.”
We, the undersigned organisations, assess this approach as a discrimination in respect of the mass media, which is impermissible and dangerous for the right to freedom of speech. A non-governmental organisation has to be open and be interested in wide coverage of its activities.
Although the reality in the Armenian media landscape is that media outlets serve different political interests, nevertheless non-governmental organisations must not engage in discrimination and be guided by their likes and dislikes.
In view of the aforesaid, we call on the AIISA to review its approach with regard to the media outlets, demonstrate tolerance and exclude discrimination in respect of the media in the future.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB