ArmInfo. The Journalists Union of Armenia considers the statement of the Prosecutor General's Office an attempt to exert pressure on the media.
This, in particular, is the last statement of the Prosecutor General's Office, which states: <... In the case of continuing the strategy, according to Kocharyan's defense by distorting public opinion, the prosecution will be forced, if necessary, to take measures aimed at preventing attempts distribution and manipulation of false information generated by individual media, fake or real users of social networks, and providing the public with objective information, remaining faithful to the law>.
The Union of Journalists of Armenia strongly condemns this statement of the RA Prosecutor General's Office, qualifying it as direct pressure on the press, freedom of speech and urges to refrain from such activities and statements.
<To the attention of the Prosecutor General's Office, Article 4 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia On Mass Information clearly establishes guarantees for ensuring freedom of speech in the field of information, according to which journalists and persons carrying out information activities act freely, based on the principles of equality, legality, freedom of speech (expression) and pluralism.
We also consider it necessary to recall that in the course of communication between journalists and prosecutors, the basic guarantees of the rights of journalists and their importance are emphasized in a number of international documents.
Thus, according to the Rome Statute, the right to receive information and freedom of the press must be taken into account in contacts with prosecutors and the media.
The Prosecutor's Office must take special care in matters of freedom of speech and the right to be informed.
Freedom of the press must be guaranteed during legal proceedings. Under Article 10 of the ECHR, the press is obliged to convey information and ideas of public interest, which include the right of the public to receive them, thereby allowing the press to exercise the role of public controller. In this process, the media should be more secure if they contribute to the discussion of issues of public interest.
According to the communication guide for the judiciary and the prosecutor's office of the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (2018), journalists should be seen as partners, not enemies.
The statement of the Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia dated May 17, 2019 is an attempt to exert pressure on the freedom of the press and present the media in the eyes of the public as enemies distorting public opinion. This is simply an obstacle to the free press activity.
The Union of Journalists of Armenia focuses the attention of structures involved in the protection of freedom of speech, including the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Speech, on the current situation.
It is not clear why, the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia, having left its business, is trying to restrict media freedom, censor publications. The RA Prosecutor General's Office, in fact, has deviated from its constitutional mission and the fulfillment of its functions and is drawn into political processes, becoming their side during this time, "the statement says.