YEREVAN PRESS CLUB WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

APRIL 24-30, 2009

HIGHLIGHTS:

"PRESS CLUB" CYCLE: URBANISM AND ECOLOGY OF YEREVAN

ARMENIA TODAY COORDINATOR ASSAULTED

AMENDMENTS TO BROADCAST LEGISLATION PASSED


"PRESS CLUB" CYCLE: URBANISM AND ECOLOGY OF YEREVAN

On April 25, another "Press Club" show, dealing with the elections of
Yerevan Council of Elderly on May 31, 2009, went on the air of "Yerkir
Media" TV company. The "Press Club" cycle is produced under Yerevan Press
Club project, supported by the Open Society Institute. The guests of the
program host, YPC President Boris Navasardian were representatives of six
parties and one party bloc who have submitted their lists to the RA Central
Electoral Commission for running in the elections: Mikael Melkumian
("Prosperous Armenia"), Hrachik Vardapetian (Popular Party), Hrachik
Poghosian (Republican Party of Armenia),Vazgen Petrosian (ARF
"Dashnaktsutiun"), Ararat Zurabian (Armenian National Congress), Emil Amyan
(Labor Socialist Party of Armenia), Khachik Harutiunian ("Orinats Yerkir").
Karineh Danielian, Chairwoman of the Association "For Sustainable Human
Development", and architect Gagik Sukhudian took part in the show as
experts. The discussion centered on the urbanism and environment issues of
Yerevan.

The next "Press Club" show will be aired on "Yerkir Media" on Saturday, May
2 at 17.25.

ARMENIA TODAY COORDINATOR ASSAULTED

On April 30, at about 5.00 in Yerevan an assault was made on Argishti
Kivirian, Director of "Bagin" legal company, Coordinator of ARMENIA Today
news agency. As the journalist relatives noted, strangers with bats attacked
Argishti Kivirian on his way home from the office which is located in the
next entrance. The neighbors, awoken from the noise, frightened away the
assaulters, and they escaped. Argishti Kivirian was taken to "Erebuni"
medical center in grave health condition and with multiple injuries, also on
his head. According to the information of RA Police, investigative actions
are started upon the incident.

The same day, on April 30, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression,
Yerevan Press Club, Internews Media Support NGO, Media Diversity
Institute-Armenia, "Femida" NGO, "Asparez" Journalist's Club, Vanadzor Press
Club, Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Helsinki Committee
of Armenia, Civil Society Institute and Vanadzor Office of Helsinki Citizens
Assembly released a statement. "The solution of problems through blows and
violence becomes a serious peril for the society", the statement says, in
particular. In the opinion of the eleven NGOs, "the state structures do not
take any effective steps in order to stand up against this peril": "(...)
Those who have assaulted against journalists have not appeared before the
court to this very day." The statement authors called the law enforcement
bodies to clean the crime against Argishti Kivirian as soon as possible and
bring the offenders to account. The NGOs statement also notes that the
relatives of Argishti Kivirian link the incident to his journalistic
activities.

AMENDMENTS TO BROADCAST LEGISLATION PASSED

On April 28, RA National Assembly in the second hearing and finally passed a
package of amendments and supplements to the RA Laws "On Television and
Radio", "Statutes of the RA National Commission on Television and Radio",
"Statutes of the RA National Assembly", "On State Duty". As it has been
reported, the amendments to the broadcast legislation provoked the strong
critics of a number of journalistic associations: Yerevan Press Club,
Internews Media Support NGO, Media Diversity Institute-Armenia, Committee to
Protect Freedom of Expression, "Asparez" Journalist's Club and Vanadzor
Press Club. On February 3, the professional organizations made a statement
in which the package of amendments was considered to be "nonsense".
Meanwhile, on February 26 it was adopted in the first hearing (see details
in YPC Weekly Newsletter, January 30 - February 5, 2009 and February 20-26,
2009). On April 9, another statement was released. It, particularly, noted
that "despite the few improvements against the previous version of the
package" the document remains to be "far from the demands of the time" (see
details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, April 3-9, 2009).

The journalistic associations have presented their proposals to the National
Assembly specialized standing commission. Nevertheless, despite the
assurances of the amendments authors, none of the proposals were reflected
in the document presented for second hearing. After the final text of the
package is released, the professional organizations are intended to come up
with a statement.


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Editor of YPC Newsletter - Elina POGHOSBEKIAN
_____________________________________ _______
Yerevan Press Club
9B, Ghazar Parpetsi str.
0002, Yerevan, Armenia
Tel.: (+ 374 10) 53 00 67; 53 35 41; 53 76 62
Fax: (+374 10) 53 56 61
E-mail: [email protected]
Web Site: www.ypc.am