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Media Diversity Institute – Armenia Joins Inaugural Cohort of the Spyware Accountability Initiative

Leading funders and companies announce over $4 million in support of efforts to address the harms of spyware on civil society across the globe.

March 6, 2024 – Media Diversity Institute – Armenia (MDI Armenia) announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Spyware Accountability Initiative, whose mission is to grow a global field of civil society organizations who are advancing threat research, advocacy and accountability to address the use and trade of spyware. 

The Ford Foundation’s Dignity and Justice Fund, fiscally sponsored by the New Venture Fund (NVF), launched the Spyware Accountability Initiative with a founding contribution by Apple and additional support from Open Society Foundations, Okta for Good, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Grantees of the Dignity and Justice Fund’s Spyware Accountability Initiative were recommended to the board of NVF by the Fund’s advisory board, which consists of members of the Ford Foundation leadership team. An independent, global technical advisory committee advised on the Fund’s grantmaking strategy. Over the next five years, the Spyware Accountability Initiative will support a growing community of researchers and advocacy organizations investigating, exposing, and bringing accountability to the global mercenary spyware trade. 

The MDI Armenia is proud to join the Spyware Accountability Initiative’s inaugural cohort of nearly two dozen grantees, half of which are based in the Global South, where the harms of spyware are most pronounced. The Initiative’s first wave of grants focuses on three key areas: international advocacy and litigation; investigations and research; and Global South regional field building and organizational strengthening.  

About MDI Armenia 

Media Diversity Institute – Armenia is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that seeks to leverage the power of the traditional media, social media and new technologies to safeguard human rights, help build a democratic, civil society, give voice to the voiceless and deepen the collective understanding of different types of social diversity. 

To learn more, visit the homepage of the Spyware Accountability Initiative. 

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Digital Security Workshop Call


  • 25.11.202, Shirak region, Gyumri City – All for Equal Rights Foundation (address: Gyumri City, 7/33 Garegin Nzhdeh Street)
  • 26.11.2023, Lori region, Vanadzor City – «NGO Center» Civil Society Development NGO (address: Vanadzor City, 6/1 Khorenatsi Street)

About the project and the workshop:

The Media Diversity Institute is excited to announce a comprehensive, hands-on workshop on digital security management for civil society organizations, media organizations, and other relevant stakeholders based in Shirak and Lori regions. This event is a part of the “EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia” project and is aimed at equipping participants with the necessary tools and knowledge to identify and manage digital security risks, safeguard their organizations, and handle IT management effectively.

This one-day workshop, led by digital security and media experts, will provide insights into organizational and personal digital security, risk management, IT management, and much more.

“EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia:” Project is implemented by OxYGen Foundation, Socioscope NGO, “Asparez” Journalists’ Club NGO, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO, Media Diversity Institute – Armenia in cooperation with Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, and Eurasia Partnership Foundation. The Project is funded by the European Union.

Registration for the Digital Security Workshop is open until November 20th. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your digital security expertise. The event will be held:

  • 25.11.202, Shirak region, Gyumri City – All for Equal Rights Foundation (address: Gyumri City, 7/33 Garegin Nzhdeh Street)
  • 26.11.2023, Lori region, Vanadzor City – «NGO Center» Civil Society Development NGO (address: Vanadzor City, 6/1 Khorenatsi Street)

Workshop details:

  • Introduction to cyber security, the most common threats and attack vectors in Armenia
  • How to protect personal information on the Internet (theoretical and practical tasks)
  • How to protect passwords: password management systems, two-phase security
  • Secure communication: PGP, Protonmail, Tutanota, secure communication software (Signal, Wire)
  • Phishing attacks and protection methods and tools
  • Strategic issues of digital security for the organization (Practical work)

Why Attend?

  • To understand and apply risk management within your organization.
  • To learn about the roles in IT management and assess employee competencies.
  • To discover how to protect your organization’s online presence and personal digital information.
  • To use the most up-to-date digital security tools and best practices.

Registration and Questions:

To register for the Digital Security Training Workshop, please fill out the online registration form by the deadline of November 20th. For any questions regarding the workshop, you are encouraged to contact the MDI representative Alexander Martirosyan at [email protected].

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“Media organizations express deep concern over the contradictions in the external and internal agendas of reforms in Armenia.”

We, the undersigned journalistic organizations, express our deep concern over the contradictions in the external and internal agendas of reforms envisaged in various sectors in Armenia.

In particular, several journalistic organizations were notified of the opportunity to submit proposals regarding the draft decision “On establishing the procedure for the relationship of the Supreme Judicial Council, the SJC, courts and judges with media” until July 14, 2023. This document contains a range of promising provisions, for example, that “media representatives can freely attend the open sessions and working consultations of the Supreme Judicial Council, film and photograph, and even immediately livestream the events.”

In fact, in the period when the representatives of the journalistic community were supposed to develop proposals on the draft decision, a scandalous incident occurred on July 3: the SJC refused journalists’ access to its previously announced open session, where a matter of public interest was being discussed. In the days that followed, many of our colleagues and ourselves criticized that incident through different platforms and were waiting for clarifications of the Supreme Judicial Council about what happened, as well as forward-looking conclusions. Unfortunately, there was no response, which could not but make reveal the secret of contradiction lying between the two processes.

We have grounds to infer that the broad-minded approach reflected in the draft decision by the SCJ is conditioned by the simple fact that it is being developed within the frames of a joint project with the Swedish National Courts Administration and due to the financial support of the Swedish Government, for which we are only grateful. Nonetheless, the July 3 session of the Supreme Judicial Council took place in our domestic reality, away from the scrutiny of the international community.

Through this statement, we firmly reiterate that such discrepancies between the agendas of international cooperation and the practical execution of “reforms” within the country are unacceptable to us.

Our principled approach is to contribute to endeavors aimed at enhancing the role of media in the institutional progress across various sectors in Armenia. However, we consider it unacceptable to engage in merely formal, windowdressing initiatives.

We also call on the international partners of the RA state structures to demonstrate consistency and pay greater attention to the efficiency of the ongoing processes, ensuring that the reforms announced on paper are duly reflected in real life.





The Statement is open for signatures

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Armenia -- AI Generated illustration of protests and internet shutdowns, Yerevan, 13Apr2023

Open letter: Armenian government must safeguard internet access and freedom of expression, abandon the provisions in law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law” 

To: Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia

CC:  National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry of High Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia

Nations across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the world, must ensure people can access open, secure, and free internet when they need it the most — during important national events. We urge the Republic of Armenia to #KeepItOn.

Respected Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan, 

We, the undersigned organizations, and members of the #KeepItOn coalition — a global network of over 300 organizations from 105 countries working to end internet shutdowns — write to urgently appeal to you and all relevant authorities, to reject signing into law broad restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and opinion outlined in Article 8 of On the Legal Regime of Martial Law  and commit to maintaining unfettered access to internet for all, during both conflict and peacetime. Open, secure, reliable, and accessible internet is vital to exercising and protecting human rights, as well as ensuring safety during crises and conflicts.

Rising censorship in Armenia

Last year, around the time of the 13 September military offensive at the Azerbaijan-Armenia border, your government  deliberately interfered with TikTok, making the popular app unavailable in Armenia. Authorities also blocked several Azerbaijani media outlets in the territory of Armenia. 

On September 23, 2022, Media Diversity Institute – Armenia sent a request to the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia to clarify the legal basis under which the authorities shut down and blocked access to TikTok and media websites.  In January 2023, the National Security Service Director’s Chief of Staff defended your government’s actions by citing Article 15 of the Law on Security Services and claiming that this provision gives the government  the power to “oversee information security matters.”  

This justification is entirely inadequate, as Article 15 of the  Law on Security Services provides no basis for either internet shutdowns or blockings of specific websites. The Chief of Staff’s official response, however, stated that there are ongoing discussions to also “adjust the legislation,” likely to give authorities such power. Any such changes would be a disaster for human rights online.

Alarmingly, in December 2022, the Armenian Ministry of Justice submitted draft amendments and supplements to “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law,” that  would grant your  government, under declaration of martial law, the power to restrict the right to freedom of expression and opinion through temporary blockings of websites, social media, internet applications, and through partial or complete internet shutdowns across the territory of the Republic of Armenia. The amendments also provide for temporary confiscation or seizure of media equipment such as printing devices and copiers, as well as radio broadcasting and sound amplifying equipment which would hinder the work of media and journalists. The new rules and procedures governing the use of communication means and accreditation of journalists also risk restricting freedom of press and free expression.

The #KeepItOn coalition joins Armenian civil society organizations and international NGOs such as the Committee to Protect Journalists in strongly opposing this legislation, which poses serious threat to the freedom of expression in  Armenia and represents “an excuse to curtail press freedom.”

Impeding access to the internet harms human rights and safety

Unhampered internet connectivity is crucial for the protection of human rights such as freedom of opinion and expression, access to information, freedom of the press, and freedom of peaceful assembly. Restricting internet access in any manner disrupts the flow of information and hinders

reporting and accountability for human rights abuses.

Shutting or slowing down access to the internet directly interferes with all aspects of people’s daily lives including their ability to express views and opinions freely, communicate with loved ones, organize online openly and with no restrictions, access education and healthcare, and conduct business. Internet shutdowns make it extremely difficult for journalists, the media, and human rights defenders to carry out their work, thereby denying people both inside and outside of the affected country access to credible information.

Shutting down internet or social media access during conflicts and crises is disproportionate and amounts to collective punishment, depriving people of fundamental rights, including people’s right to political participation. This cannot be justified as a tactical response.  Such measures indicate the  intention to thwart free expression and control narratives. Authorities in Armenia are under an obligation to refrain from issuing orders that undermine international human rights standards. Private companies also have a responsibility to respect human rights that exist above and independent of domestic law.

International human rights frameworks condemn internet shutdowns 

Interfering with internet connection to restrict people’s ability to communicate, express themselves, and receive adequate information during emergencies and  crises is a violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression, provided in Articles 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Internet shutdowns are strongly condemned in international convenings, including in the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 47/16 that denounces “the use of Internet shutdowns to intentionally and arbitrarily prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information.” The Human Rights Council in its recent report Internet shutdowns: trends, causes, legal implications and impacts on a range of human rights urges  authorities to not impose  internet shutdowns. Moreover, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that “switching off the internet causes incalculable damage, both in material and human rights terms” while “the costs to jobs, education, health and political participation virtually always exceed any hoped for benefit.”

According to Article 4 of the ICCPR, states may “take measures derogating from their obligations under the Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation.” In the view of the UN Human Rights Committee, this requirement  reflects “the principle of proportionality which is common to derogation and limitation powers.” In other words, “any derogation measure shall be such only as are strictly necessary to deal with the threat to the life of the nation and are proportionate to its nature and extent.” Internet shutdowns, by contrast, disproportionately impact all users, and unnecessarily restrict access to information and emergency services communications during crucial moments that makes them “disproportionate by default.” 

The undersigned organizations and members of the #KeepItOn coalition join our partners in unequivocally condemning any attempts to legitimize online censorship and internet shutdowns, at any time. While Armenia is facing real and serious threats to its security posed by Azerbaijan, there is no legitimate reason to limit your own population’s access to the internet and social media, including platforms like TikTok. 

We respectfully call on the Armenian government to remove the provisions in the Law “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law” curtailing internet and media freedom and bring the Law in full compliance with international human rights. 


Access Now 

African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX)

Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC)

Africa Media and Information Technology Initiative (AfriMITI)

Africa Open Data and Internet Research Foundation 

Amnesty International

Bloggers of Zambia

Blueprint for Free Speech

Centre for Community Empowerment and Development- Malawi 

Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP-Liberia)

Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA)

Committee to Protect Journalists

Office of Civil Freedoms

Change Tanzania Movement 

Digital Rights Kashmir

Digital Paradigm (Kazakhstan)

Eurasian Digital Foundation (Kazakhstan)

Gambia Press Union (GPU)

Heartland Initiative

Human Constanta

Human Rights Centre Somaliland

Human Rights Consulting Group (Kazakhstan)

I4C Center for Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights 


Innovation For Change (I4C) South Asia 

International Press Center

Internet Freedom Kazakhstan (

Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan 

Internet Protection Society (Russia)

Internet Sans Frontières

Igbanet (Africa)


KICTANet, Kenya

Kijiji Yeetu

Media Diversity Institute – Armenia

Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)

MediaNet (Kazakhstan)

Media Rights Agenda (MRA)

Miaan Group 

Organization of the Justice Campaign‏- OJC

Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI)

OpenNet Africa

Paradigm Initiative (PIN)

PEN America

PEN Armenia

Ranking Digital Rights


Sassoufit Collective


Software Freedom Law Center, India 

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)

Teplitsa. Technologies for Social Good (

The Tor Project



Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)

Zaina Foundation

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Armenia -- Impact of Azeri shelling of resourt town Jermuk, 13Sep2022

EaP CSF Armenian National Platform statement on Ilham Aliyev’s aggression

Azerbaijani authoritarian regime’s attack on the sovereign territory of Armenia, launched on September 13, is another violent wave of the long-lasting conflict that continues to destroy infrastructures, and harm nature. As a result of this new war, 135 militaries were killed on the Armenian side, and over 20 prisoners of war were taken. 1 civilian was killed and 6 received injuries of various degrees as a result of the shelling of the civilian population. There are reports of continued practice of mutilation of the bodies of the military, including women[1], and other war crimes. The number of people displaced from densely populated towns of Jermuk, Goris, Kapan, Vardenis, etc. is 2750, including 370 children and 55 people with disabilities[2].

The post-44-day war negotiations have illustrated that even though each conflict escalation may have a winning and a losing side, there is no conflict resolution through violence because they are followed by rounds of talks and negotiations that are aimed at finding a common denominator and preventing the conflict from further development. It is also important to understand that each violent phase of the conflict makes the possibility of finding a common solution more and more difficult and sustainable peace in a long-term perspective a vague illusion for the people of the region.

The violence and deaths of soldiers and civilians are direct consequences of a lack of democracy, constant violations of human rights, and illegitimate occupation of power by groups of people who are willing to centralize the resources and the wealth in their hands. These people do not care about the lives of either their neighbors or their compatriots, they exercise all possible measures to manipulate, mislead, fool, silence and frighten their societies and opponents via propaganda and repressions.

This act of aggression against Armenia and Armenians is an extrapolation of the aggression exercised for decades by the Aliyev family regime within the Azerbaijani society, against its own compatriots, against politicians, human rights defenders, journalists, activists who protest against falsified elections, corruption and inequality. This means that if successful, it will pay back and strengthen corruption, repressions, and monopolization of political and economic power and will postpone the possible democratic transition of Azerbaijan and sustainable peace in the region for an unknown period.

The transition from authoritarian regimes to democracy is hard and painful, it requires both consolidated and individual efforts, strength, and understanding that the only way to live in a sustainable and peaceful region is to follow the principles of democracy and respect for human rights. These principles are crucial particularly for communication both within and between societies.

As civil societies, we need to understand that the current escalation is another step back from agreeing to live peacefully in the same region, another rejection of the possibility of coexistence.

The current aggression is a horrific precedent for the modern world when an authoritarian regime exercises violence if peace talks do not result in what it wants. We are currently observing a similar situation and bigger-scale violence in another part of the Eastern Partnership. We welcome French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to convene a special meeting of the UN Security Council on this issue, which was executed on 15 September 2022.  

Throughout the past decade of communication and cooperation within the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum we have witnessed the struggles of the Azerbaijani civil society and the society at large in their attempts to strengthen democracy in their home country, we have witnessed how the civil society’s space was shrinking resulting in repressions and migration of many civil society activists. Unfortunately, many prominent civil society actors had to conform to the mainstream ideology pushed by Aliyev’s regime. However, we have also witnessed the commitments of many brave activists to the universal values that we shared within the EaP, willingness to live in a better society and region where rights of the people are respected, democratic institutions are effective and political power is delegated and not stolen from the people.

We call on the Azerbaijani society and particularly civil society actors to respond to the current situation with an understanding that we all live in this region and we need to find a way for peaceful coexistence. We should share the knowledge that soldiers and civilians dying during every wave of escalation are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends and neighbors. The lives of people are beyond nationalities, beyond religions, beyond political views.

We call on the European Union:

– to condemn and address the escalation initiated by Aliyev’s anti-democratic regime, with an understanding that this act of aggression is equally directed against Armenia and the Azerbaijani society since it causes losses from both sides, undermines the chances for peace and development in the region and strengthens the dangerous precedents of the arbitrary use of force and human killings at the whim of unjust power;

– to execute stronger efforts to stop the continuing aggression and to continue the peace negotiations started under its aegis;

– condemn in strongest terms the atrocities and other war crimes committed by Azerbaijan in respect of the Armenian military and civilians;

– to demand immediate release of all prisoners of war, including those captured since the start of the 2020 war;

– to organize a high-level EU visit to Armenia to discuss the situation and coordinate actions in international bodies;

– to discuss the imposition of EU sanctions on Azerbaijan for violation of international legal order and for creating and running one of the most terrible dictatorial systems in the world inside the country;

– to initiate discussions with external actors to stop them from selling particularly offensive military equipment to Azerbaijan;

– to make efforts to ensure the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

[1] Briefing of the Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Armenia Edward Asryan in Jermuk with diplomatic representatives accredited in Armenia, 

[2] Report of Armenia’s Representative to the UN during the UN Security Council Meeting on the issue of Armenia on 15.09.2022,  , 54:51

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Armenia -- Police using force against "Iravunk Daily" journalist Hrant Safaryan, Yerevan, 01Jun2022

Statement on Use of Force against “Iravunk” Journalist Hrant Safaryan

On May 30, 2022 during a protest organized by opposition forces near the RA Government Building 3, the police used brute force against “Iravunk” newspaper journalist Hrant Safaryan, hitting and throwing him on the ground. During the clashes, law enforcement officers also used force against “” editor Vahe Sargsyan trying to detain him. Both journalists were there to cover the action and were performing their professional duties.

In spite of the fact that the police do not use batons, stun grenades, water cannons and other special means during the clashes, nevertheless, law enforcement officers do not refrain from using disproportionate force, in particular, violently obstructing the activities of media representatives. Whereas, the police are obliged to ensure safe work environment for journalists performing their professional duties.

Strongly condemning the attacks against media representatives, we, the undersigned journalistic organizations, demand from the RA Police:

  • to carry out an official investigation, identify and hold accountable the police officers that abused their power, and inform the public about it;
  • to take measures to ensure more professional actions by police officers, respect and tolerance for the professional duties of journalists and the safety of media representatives during mass events.


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Armenia -- Director of "Yerkir Media" TV Bagrat Yesayan, Yerevan, 13Jun2022

Statement on Detention of “Yerkir Media” TV Director Bagrat Yesayan

On June 10, 2022 four National Security Service officers, without prior notice, broke into the office of Bagrat Yesayan, Director of “Yerkir Media” TV Company and member of the “ARF-Dashnaktsutyun” party Armenian Supreme Body, and arrested him. According to lawyer Vahe Yeprikyan, Bagrat Yesayan was charged with Article 38-225, Part 2 of the RA Criminal Code (violence, pogroms or arson, destruction or damage to property during a mass disorder) and Article 164, Part 1 (obstruction to the journalist’s legal professional activities or forcing the journalist to disseminate or refuse to disseminate information).

This charge is related to the the attack against the Yerevan Bureau of “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” on the night of November 10, 2020, which resulted in the institution of a criminal case. On the same day, we, the undersigned journalistic organizations, issued a statement expressing our indignation, condemning the harassment against the media and its employees. Nevertheless, taking note of the fact that Bagrat Yesayan, as a participant of the mentioned incident, did not hinder the preliminary investigation and did not avoid providing testimony, his detention and arrest are unacceptable. Especially when it has been carried out demonstratively, without prior notice on the premises of the media headed by Yesayan,.

In this regard, we welcome the June 11, 2022 decision of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Yerevan, which rejected the NSS motion for Bagrat Yesayan’s detention.

While reiterating our position that the attack against the Yerevan Bureau of RFE/RL on the night of November 10, 2020 is a highly reprehensible act with legal consequences, we nevertheless insist that a comprehensive and fully objective investigation of this incident should be conducted. Hence, we demand from the body carrying out the preliminary investigation to act strictly within the law, to steadfastly adhere to its letter and spirit, not giving any reason for political manipulation.


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TV Tower of Yerevan

Statement on Amendments to The Law “On Audiovisual Media”

June 21, 2022 is the deadline for the presentation of the draft law on making amendments and supplements to the Law “On Audiovisual Media” and adjacent laws, published on the official platform. As a matter of fact, this document has not received proper attention. So far, it has got 0 votes for and 0 against. Meanwhile, this legislative initiative authored by the RA Ministry of High-Tech Industry in partnership with the Commission on Television and Radio, the Council of the Public Broadcaster and the “Union of Operators of Armenia” NGO has caused deep concern among more than a dozen specialized journalistic organizations, both in terms of the content of the draft law, and the process of its development and presentation.

First of all, it is at least puzzling that the initiation and discussion of the idea of ​​making such extensive changes and supplements to the RA Law “On Audiovisual Media” and the development of the draft itself were held without the knowledge and active engagement of the profile committee of the National Assembly. This is especially incomprehensible, given the fact that with this initiative changes are envisaged not only in the above-mentioned law, but also in 7 other laws related to the field, including the main law “On Mass Communication”, which regulates the activities of media.

Added to that, the process has not in any way engaged journalistic NGOs, among which there are organizations that have been dealing with broadcasting issues for decades, have conducted numerous researches, have studied international experience, have developed analyses, recommendations and draft laws.

Finally, it is unacceptable, for example, to include provisions related to journalistic ethics in the draft law without consulting the organizations that are the initiators and advocates of the development of the professional code of ethics and introduction of media self-regulation in Armenia. In general, there are so many content-related defects and omissions in the draft law that it is not possible to address them within this statement. Nevertheless, let us mention a few: in particular, it is not clear why part 4 of paragraph 5 of Article 1 is removed from the Law “On Audiovisual Media”, which, in fact, excludes from regulations the TV companies using private multiplex slots. Is it because the authors of the draft law are sure that no private network of terrestrial digital broadcasting will be formed and operate in the country? Or, when there is a compulsion to clearly separate facts from opinions in TV programs, which is primarily a self-regulation issue, will the CTR be able to identify all violations of this requirement from the enormous information flow and hold their authors accountable? Of course not. It opens up wide opportunities for subjectivity, arbitrariness and selective approaches, which is unacceptable. The same can be said about the requirement to publish only reliable facts. Let us once again note that there are a number of such provisions.

The development and presentation of the above-mentioned draft law, along with its content, also contradict a key process initiated by the RA NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport, the RA Ministry of Justice and 11 journalistic organizations, according to which joint efforts should be made to prepare a concept of information field development and media legislation reforms, and the fundamental principles included in that document should serve the development and adoption of new laws complying with contemporary international norms. A tripartite Memorandum of Cooperation in this regard was signed on April 19, 2022.

It is apparent that without a comprehensive concept, such extensive legislative changes are pointless and inefficient, moreover, they will continue the vicious practice of patching gaps in media legislation.

Based on the above-mentioned, we call on:

– the HTI Ministry to revoke the package of draft laws submitted on the official platform, to hold professional open discussions with interested state and public organizations aimed at improving the legislative regulations of the broadcasting sector;

– the RA NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Justice, while sticking to the provisions of the Memorandum of Cooperation with journalistic organizations, to work with the HTI Ministry, so that the implementation of the proposed changes in the Law “On Audiovisual Media” be in compliance with the processes envisaged by the Memorandum, in line with the principles of the concept currently under development.


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Armenia -- Mediahub journalist and cameraman attacked by police representatives in Yerevan, 02May2022

Statement on Hindering The Work of Media Representatives

On May 2, 2022 during the disobedience actions organized by opposition forces in Yerevan the professional activities of a number of media representatives were hindered.

In particular, at the intersection of Proshyan and Baghramyan streets Sargis Hovhannisyan, head of the country’s State Protection Service, first behaved aggressively towards “” correspondent Nare Gnuni by hitting the microphone in her hand, and then kicked the cameraman of the same website Arman Gharajyan and damaged the camera.

As a result of a clash between the police and citizens at the intersection of Sayat-Nova-Abovyan streets, “” correspondent Lia Sargsyan started to feel bad and was given first aid.

On Heratsi street, the police officers punched “” journalist Davit Fidanyan on the shoulder and obstructed his work, while Ishkhan Khosrovyan, another journalist of the same website, was shoved at the intersection of Khanjyan-Sayat-Nova streets.

We, the undersigned journalistic organizations, restate that amid any aggravation of the socio-political situation in the country, the attacks and pressures on journalists and cameramen increase as well. This is also often the result of a lack of professionalism by law enforcement officers and inability to communicate politely with people, including media representatives.

Strongly condemning the law enforcement officers’ attacks against journalists and cameramen performing their professional duties during mass protests, we demand from the government:

– to initiate an official investigation and hold accountable State Protection Service head Sargis Hovhannisyan and his subordinates who exceeded their power;

– to give appropriate instructions to SPS and the police so that the latter do not violate the rights of media representatives through their actions and treat them respectfully.


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Ani Nahapetyan

Statement on the detention of journalist Ani Nahapetyan while carrying out her journalistic duties

February 24, 2022, Yerevan

On February 22, 2022 together with the citizens protesting in the Republic Square of the capital against the visit of Azerbaijani MPs to Yerevan, the police also detained Ani Nahapetyan, correspondent of “Yerkir Media” TV Company. The latter was performing her professional duty and showed her press card when the incident happened. Later, at the police station, the law-enforcers took Ani Nahapetyan’s phone and deleted the footage she had taken inside the building. Along with other citizens, a criminal case was also initiated against the journalist under Article 258 (hooliganism) Part 1 of the RA Criminal Code. According to law enforcement, Ani Nahapetyan shouted profanities at the authorities, which, however, the journalist denied and, in her turn, reported a crime.

Although the police issued a clarification on the incident, claiming that “no one introduced him/herself as a media representative and did not show a relevant document”, we consider that argument groundless and unconvincing, as there is irrefutable evidence that both when being detained and at the police department she informed that she was a journalist. Nevertheless, she was released only after being held in the department for more than four hours.

We, the undersigned organizations, strongly condemn the improper actions taken against the journalist, including the illegal detention and obstruction of professional activities.

In this regard, we demand from the RA Police:

– to immediately quash the criminal case against Ani Nahapetyan;

– to carry out an official investigation, and hold accountable the police officers who abused their power;

– to take measures to prevent such attitude and actions towards journalists in the future.


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