Hayastani Hanrapetutyun Editor Fired

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Parliament speaker Khosrov Harutiunian has sacked the editor-in-chief of a state-funded daily newspaper–a second such order since he took over the post in February.

A decree signed by Harutiunian on Tuesday said Liza Jagharian is dismissed as chief editor of "Hayastani Hanrapetutyun" for the "regular distortion of the National Assembly’s work" and "consistent efforts to damage its political standing."

The move was denounced the same day by Jagharian and the newspaper staff who met to express their protest. "It is the parliament that discredits itself–we only write the truth," she said. The journalists claimed that the speaker has no authority change editors without consulting with the newspaper.

Jagharian is a second editor sacked by Harutiunian. A similar row erupted last May when the speaker ousted the editor-in-chief of another parliament daily–the Russian-language "Respublika Armeniya." After a one-week strike–the paper staff backed down to accept a new chief appointed by Harutiunian.

The Armenian parliament is legally considered to be a "founder" of "Hayastani Hanrapetutyun" and "Respublika Armeniya" but covers only a part of their operational costs. Most of the money is earned by the newspapers. The "Hayastani Hanrapetutyun" staff on Wednesday decided to pull out of parliament control.

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