Journalists Agree to Pursue Rights of Media

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–During a seminar organized by the Free Information Center March 28-30–representatives of eleven unconnected media outlets met to discuss the freedom of mass media in judicial–environmental and health sectors. The seminar concluded "Almost all of the authorities of the Armenian Government violate journalists’ rights to obtain accurate information."

All those present at the seminar agreed that violations occur mainly throughout the regions as opposed to the capital. During discussions–participating journalists issued a statement stressing the consistent efforts of the Prosecutor General’s office to violate the right of journalists–in the journalists’ attempt to obtain accurate information; the statement emphasized the following:

– The near impossibility to acquire or confirm any information from the Prosecutor General’s press service.

– The singling out of the Prosecutor General’s office of certain mass media in providing information.

– The inability to corroborate facts with the Prosecutor General’s office–resulting in publishing of inaccurate information.

"We believe that all the misconceptions and irregularities occur due to unprofessional work ethic of the head of the Prosecutor General’s press service Gourgen Ambarian. We–therefore propose the Prosecutor General of Armenia to take necessary measures to either urge him to work more professionally–or to hire a more competent individual–as a result of which–both journalists and the Prosecutor General’s office would benefit," said the statement.

The seminar agreed to also apply to Police Chief Haik Haroutunian to modify the structure of the "02" TV show which constantly violates the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ law by presenting suspects as criminals.

In order to direct the attention of state authorities to violations of journalists’ rights–the media representatives concluded that either cases of violations would be exposed by the media in unison–or–when applicable–suits would be filed to publicly announce the names of those in violation of the law.

The announcement–along with the other media representatives–was signed by the Yerkir-daily representative.

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