Any attempt to put a tombstone on the free press is doomed to failure. Union of Journalists of Armenia

22:03 21-12-2023

December 7, the secretary of the “Civil Contract” faction of the National Assembly, Artur Hovhannisyan, addressed several media outlets from the NA pulpit, made baseless expressions, which not only do not befit a member of the National Assembly, but also contain defamation and insult, as well as the offenses provided for by the Criminal Code.

Thus, Artur Hovhannisyan specifically said in his speech.

“We know how publications are created in Armenia. For example, someone can give money to “Zhoghovurd” daily newspaper, order an article about someone, bad, to condemn the person, which is a normal phenomenon for “Zhoghovurd” daily newspaper, or, or “Hraparak”, and then those publications come and find a place in the conclusion.”

On the same day, the editor of “Zhoghovurd” daily Knar Manukyan approached Artur Hovhannisyan in the National Assembly and offered to go to the National Security Service or the RA Prosecutor’s Office together, so that the latter would report the alleged crime in relation to the accusations he made, naturally, accompanied by all the criminal legal procedures arising from it. Artur Hovhannisyan, the secretary of the “Civil Contract” faction, refused to visit the law enforcement officers, refusing to give an explanation for his statements.

December 15, 1 week after the above-mentioned conversation, “Zhoghovurd” posted a video on the subject, in which the President of the Union of Journalists of Armenia Satik Seyranyan, international law specialist Ara Ghazaryan, editor of “Mediamax” news agency Davit Alaverdyan expressed their opinion about the incident, condemned the press to silence and to target the steps of the government.

Literally hours after the video was posted, the head of the NA staff, Davit Arakelyan, sent a letter to the email address of “Zhoghovurd” daily newspaper, informing that the NA staff decided to stop the accreditation of the journalist of the “Zhoghovurd” daily newspaper, Knar Manukyan. The justification is that Knar Manukyan was “in a prohibited area, without the consent of the deputy, carried out professional activities, continued to harass and voice slanderous and insulting questions…”.

The Union of Journalists of Armenia strongly condemns all attempts to target the free press, especially by using the NA pulpit and taking advantage of the status of a government deputy through cheap speculations without any factual basis.

The Union of Journalists of Armenia also condemns the behavior of the head of the NA staff, the reprehensible methodology of protecting a teammate, the illegal attempt to prevent the NA deputy from fulfilling his direct duties, that is, arbitrarily exempting him from answering the journalist’s question, rudely interfering with the journalist’s professional activity.

Unfortunately, the press, free speech, attempts to target journalists, mix it with legislative changes, organized attacks on the press, including social media attacks, persecutions have become more and more awkward in recent years, but their authors are expected to be disappointed, any attempt to put a tombstone on the free press is doomed to failure.

Union of Journalists of Armenia