Council of Europe Condemns Naghdalian Killing

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer–strongly condemned on Wednesday the assassination of Dikran Naghdalian–Chairman of the Public TV and Radio Board of Armenia–and expressed his condolences to his family–friends and colleagues.

Naghdalian was–for many years–one of the most prominent journalists in Armenia. As Chairman of the Public TV and Radio Board–he was overseeing reform of public broadcasting–under way since Armenia’s membership to the Council of Europe in early 2001.

"The killing of a leading media personality is not only a crime against that person–but also an attack on freedom of the media. Armenian public TV and radio are destined to play a crucial role in the democratic life of the country–especially in covering the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. I would like to pay particular tribute to Dikran Naghdalian’s efforts to reform public broadcasting in Armenia and bring it into line with European standards on independent public service. I call on everybody concerned to continue his work in the same open-minded spirit," said the Secretary General.

"This appalling and senseless act should not be allowed to disrupt the democratic process in Armenia," added Schwimmer. "I call on the competent Armenian authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation in order to bring those responsible to justice."

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