ArmInfo.The UK Article 19 human rights organization has published a ranking regarding freedom of expression in the world (based on the results of 2021), according to which, Armenia took 46th place among 161 countries, being in the category of less restricted countries. Ashot Melikyan, Chairman of Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression (CPFE) stated during a press conference on January 27.
Thus, according to him, Armenia is ahead of its neighbors, in particular Iran (ranked 143rd), Azerbaijan (136th) and Turkey (141st). <But these are countries that are in the category of "crisis". Therefore, we must compare ourselves with more developed, more democratic countries. We should strive to improve the situation and create more favorable conditions for the work of the media>, Melikyan said.
It should be noted that among the neighboring countries, only Georgia was ahead of Armenia (43rd). Among the EAEU countries, the states were ranked as follows: Kyrgyzstan ranked 94th, Kazakhstan - 123rd, Belarus - 157th. Russia was not included in the current rating, having taken 128th place in the previous period. And Armenia was in 39th place in 2020, thus appearing in the green category of the Open.
The leaders of the rating are Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden, the last positions are occupied by North Korea, Turkmenistan and Syria.
During a press conference, Ashot Melikyan, referring to the situation in Armenia in 2022, noted that the year turned out to be quite tense for media representatives. In general, according to him, there were 14 cases of physical violence against journalists (with a y-o-y decrease of 22%), as a result of which 16 people were injured. In addition, during the reporting period, 55 cases of pressure on the media and their employees were recorded (a y-o-y decline of 49%) and 115 cases of violation of the rights to receive and disseminate information a (y-o-y increase of 16%). "The most problematic was the segment related to the violation of the rights to receive and disseminate information. We are watching how it becomes more and more difficult to get the necessary information from government agencies. Therefore, the country's authorities should implement a large amount of work in the context of institutional decision-making and personnel training," the head of the Committee said.
At the same time, he said that at the end of the past year, 32 lawsuits were filed against journalists and the media (which is 2-fold lower than in 2021), of which more than 90% relate to insult and slander.