We, the undersigned organizations, have noted with satisfaction that on March 25 the RA Government reviewed its March 16 decision and ended the disproportionate limitations of covering issues related to the coronavirus.
Nevertheless, we note that the revised provisions do not clearly define the body, which is authorized to provide official information and comment on behalf of the State of Emergency Coordinating Body. This raises problems when trying to effectively utilize relevant arrangements for the state of emergency.
Given the need under the current situation for the public to be informed and receive accurate, reliable, and comprehensive information, we call on the RA government to immediately define a clear procedure for providing the requested information and appoint a responsible authority.
As in our previous statement, we reconfirm our readiness to support any undertaking aimed at ensuring that the public is properly informed.
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
JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
GORIS PRESS CLUB
March 20, 2020, Yerevan
We, the undersigned, have in various formats expressed our negative opinion about the provisions of the Government’s decision to institute a State of Emergency in the Republic of Armenia, which regulate the dissemination of information.
After those provisions went into force, we have registered that their implementation is ineffective, non-proportional, unreasonable and contradicts public interest under the conditions of the pandemic.
We are calling on the RA Government and State of Emergency Coordinating Body:
- To immediately call back provisions 23, 24, 25 and 26 of the Government decision # 298-N, about instituting a state of emergency in the Republic of Armenia as of March 16;
- Develop a new provision regulating the dissemination of information, which will clarify possible limitations for this complicated situation, will aid in the adherence to norms of professionalism and effective interactions between the government bodies and media for the public good.
We express readiness to help in developing such a document.
Yerevan Press Club
Media Initiatives Center
Freedom of Information Center
Public Journalism Club
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
Journalists’ Club “Asparez”
Media Diversity Institute – Armenia
Journalists for the Future
Journalists for Human Rights
Goris Press Club
Supremacy of Law