Open post
Armenian Parliament Building

Statement on Restrictions for Movement of Media Representatives in Parliament

STATEMENT

3 August, 2021, Yerevan

The opening session of the National Assembly of the 8th convocation convened on 2 August was accompanied with strict restrictions to the movement of media representatives in the parliament. Journalists and cameramen were not allowed into the new parliamentary building where sessions of the standing commissions are convened, nor enter the area accommodating the rooms of he representatives of the parliamentary majority, nor even use certain lobbies where they used to take interviews and comments from MPs. 

As early as the last two weeks there were rumours about imposition of such restrictions. However, concerns to this effect were appeased when in answer to the inquiry made by Taguhi Tovmasyan, MP from the ‘I have honour’ faction the secretary general-chief of the NA staff informed her that there was no decision on restricting journalists’ movement. Nevertheless, on the very next working day the media representatives had to face the opposite situation.

We, the undersigned media organisations, note that the above restrictions were imposed in the parliament without any prior discussions and informing the media in advance of the changes in their working conditions. And what is even more important: no normative legal act has been adopted as the legal basis for such actions and only on the same day, 2 August, when these restrictions became effective, the decision of the NA Speaker on this was published.

We condemn such arbitrariness and insist that these steps, rather than regulating the free activities of the media in the parliament, are aimed at creating unnecessary obstacles in obstruction of professional journalistic activity. These steps are directed at shielding parliamentarians from unwanted questions and the criticism of the press and can clearly undermine the transparency and accountability of the NA work.  

We are aware and have time and again voiced our concerns about the unpleasant incidents in the NA when both MPs and journalists have transcended the boundaries of civilised relations and created meaningless conflicts. However, this problem must be resolved on the basis of legality, good reason, mutual understanding and trust in order tp enhance the effectiveness of both MPs’ and journalists’ work.  

In view of the aforesaid, we demand that the leadership of the NA:

  • Annul without a delay the restrictions imposed on media representatives on 2 August;
  • Suspend the effect of paragraph 5 of the Decision of the NA Speaker amending Annex 1 to the decision of the NA Speaker NO-01-L dated 12 February 2019 relating to these restrictions;
  • Initiate broad discussion with the participation of the journalists accredited in the NA, their managers, media non-governmental organisations, international experts with a view to effectively and finally resolving the existing problems.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES
 CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ CLUB ‘ASPAREZ’
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
JOURNALISTS FOR FUTURE
JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
GORIS PRESS CLUB
‘FEMIDA’ NGO

Open post
AI Data Processing

MDI Armenia publishes eBook on Digital Human Rights

The rapid development of digital technologies and communications resulted in many new legal and public policy areas such as, for example, personal data protection, cyber policing, cybersecurity and many others. This eBook covers one of those areas, often referred to as digital rights. It might be interesting and useful for civil society activities, politicians, public authorities, and those involved in policy decision-making or public discussion of such policies.

The eBook is written primarily for the Armenian audience, and its first part contains the analysis of Armenian policies, legal and regulatory frameworks. It covers the concept of digital rights in general, specific areas of their implication and relevant international documents, the analysis of the Armenian legislation in the context of the implementation of digital rights and proposes some steps for strengthening their protection as well as features a series of analytical articles on the situation with Digital Human Rights in Armenia over the past year.

The book is available in Armenian as a PDF for free download.

Open post
Nagorno-Karabakh -- Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shoushi after rocket fire by Azerbaijani armed forces, 08Oct2020

Statement on targeting journalists in Shoushi

Օn October 8, 2020 journalists were wounded in Nagorno-Karabakh again, namely Yuri Kotyonok, editor-in-chief of the Russian “Segodnia.ru” website and Levon Arzanov, a correspondent of the “Офицеры России” (“Russia’s Officers”) website and “Красная звезда” (“The Red Star”) newspaper. Just as on the previous days, when journalists covering the war were wounded, this time too the incident happened in a peaceful settlement, namely in the town of Shushi. The journalists were taking footage of the impact of the first shelling at Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral by Azerbaijan when the church was double tapped, with clear targeting, causing Levon Arzanov’s and Yuri Kotyonok’s heavy injuries. They were taken to hospital.

It is needless to say that Saint Ghazanchetsots is at a great distance from other buildings and was shelled from a super-precise weapon. In fact, the journalists were hit during a live stream. These facts come to refute the claims of the Azerbaijani party that they do not specifically target civilian buildings and journalists.

We, the undersigned organizations:

• reassert our call to the international community to strongly condemn the violence against the civilian population and the representatives of the media fulfilling their professional duties during the war unleashed by Azerbaijan;

• demand the undertaking of practical steps against Azerbaijan that has violated the Geneva Convention and elementary humanitarian norms, as well as applying sanctions because of the misanthropic activities of the authorities in that country.

COMMITTEE TO PROTECT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
YEREVAN PRESS CLUB
MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER
JOURNALISTS’ CLUB “ASPAREZ”
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER
MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE-ARMENIA
PUBLIC JOURNALISM CLUB
“JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE” NGO
“JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS” NGO
GORIS PRESS CLUB

Open post
big ata

Statement of the media organizations on restrictions of citizens

On March 31, 2020 the RA National Assembly adopted a bill, which will give the government additional tools to fight the pandemic under the State of Emergency at the same time limiting the citizens’ rights to the protection of personal data, privacy, freedom of communication.

We acknowledge that in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies fundamental human rights and freedoms may be restricted for the sake of public safety. However, we want to emphasize that such restrictions are acceptable only at the minimum scale, necessary for achieving the set goals. Hence, the government must adhere to the principle of proportionality, as well as make sure that the restrictions are exercised with maximum transparency.

We hereby state that the government is accountable to the public even under the State of Emergency and is not exempt from responsibility for its actions. Sadly, the parliamentary debates of the aforementioned bill did not provide definitive answers to a range of key matters of public concern.

Based on the above, we call on the RA government and the Commandant’s Office, to duly inform the citizens which institutions (be them public or private) are analyzing the personal data of the citizens, what is being done to ensure the adequate level of protection and security of the data, as well as provide clear information on the results achieved by the implementation of these measures. We also find it expedient to provide for public oversight of data collection and processing.

YEREVAN PRESS CLUB

MEDIA DIVERSITY INSTITUTE – ARMENIA

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER

MEDIA INITIATIVES CENTER

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION CENTER

PUBLIC JOURNALISTS’ CLUB

SUPREMACY OF LAW NGO

JOURNALISTS FOR THE FUTURE

GORIS PRESS CLUB

JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

“FEMIDA” PUBLIC ORGANIZATION

­­­

April 2, 2020

Scroll to top