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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

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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

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April 2, 2020

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