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The Armenian Law on Television and Radio negatively impedes pluralism in the media and limits the freedom of information

Written declaration No. 457 | Doc. 12394 | 06 October 2010

Mr Christos POURGOURIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr Florin Serghei ANGHEL, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Olena BONDARENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Karl DONABAUER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Mr Erich Georg FRITZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Ana GUŢU, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Mr Holger HAIBACH, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Stanisław HUSKOWSKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Francine JOHN-CALAME, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Rom KOSTŘICA, Czech Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Václav KUBATA, Czech Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Franz Eduard KÜHNEL, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Markku LAUKKANEN, Finland, ALDE ; Mr Dariusz LIPIŃSKI, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Arthur LOEPFE, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Mr Theo MAISSEN, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Mr Krasimir MINCHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Gebhard NEGELE, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands ; Ms Elsa PAPADIMITRIOU, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Petar PETROV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Gonzalo ROBLES, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Anta RUGĀTE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Mr Armen RUSTAMYAN, Armenia, SOC ; Mr Leander SCHÄDLER, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria STAVROSITU, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Elke TINDEMANS, Belgium ; Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

The Armenian Law on Television and Radio negatively impedes pluralism in the media and limits the freedom of information.

The changes to the Armenian Law on Television and Radio, which were proposed by the government and were adopted during a special session of the Armenian National Assembly on 10 June 2010, only expand state control over television and radio broadcasting.

Opposition parties, the Assembly Monitoring Committee’s co-rapporteurs on Armenia and the OSCE clearly criticise the aforementioned changes.

The undersigned hereby note that the changes in the above-mentioned law are aimed at obstructing the 2008 decision of the European Court of Human Rights which criticised the Armenian Government for its closure of the independent A1+ television station limiting and reducing the number of television stations and restricting the broadcast airwaves for new television companies.

The changes will result in further abuse of this law, including:

  • an unclearly defined licensing system for satellite transmission, cellular phone messaging and Internet broadcasting;
  • the imposition of restrictive licensing requirements;
  • granting courts sweeping powers over broadcasting licenses and unjustified limitations on freedom of the media.

Considering it unacceptable that the Armenian Government’s changes to the Law on Television and Radio resulted in a flagrant abuse of media freedoms, we demand that the authorities modify the law within a reasonable time-frame, in conformity with international standards and that the opposition is allowed to participate in the process.