Acts of Violence against Journalists Are Still Widespread in Armenia
Acts of violence and oppression against journalists or media are widespread in Armenia. Within the first nine months in 2014 seven cases of violence against journalists were reported. However, offenders have not been revealed and punished so far.

The Media Center initiated panel discussion was attended by Arpine Hovhannisyan, MP of the Armenian Republican Party Faction; Ashot Melikyan, Chairman at the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression; Ara Ghazaryan, lawyer; Armine Ohanyan, Editor-in-Chief of the Hraparak Daily; and Samvel Martirosyan, media expert.

“I can hardly recall an incident in Armenia that has been followed by an investigation and consequently resolved, with the offender being punished. It is a matter of great concern,” said Ara Ghazaryan. The lawyer added that officials’ behavior has recently changed.

Besides acts of violence, Armine Ohanyan believes, pressure is exerted on journalists in a legal way as well.

Ashot Melikyan said it is worrying that law enforcement agencies are involved in acts of violence against journalists. “There is such a trend. In the past nine months seven cases were recorded as many as last year,” he said.

Considerable changes are expected in the Armenian media sector. “There will be established Local Internet Governance Forum in Armenia. It will involve businessmen, government and civil society representatives. So, it is going to become a forum, platform which will enable us to discuss and solve issues regarding online media,” he said. 

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