On January 20 the international “Human Rights Watch” organization released its annual report on human rights practices in over 90 countries of the world in 2009.
In the section, dealing with Armenia, the situation with media freedom is presented. In particular, despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights of June 2008, finding Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in violation with relation to “A1+”, the TV company has not been able to resume broadcasting due to the two year moratorium of broadcast licensing competitions (introduced in September 2008), the report notes. According to the report authors, the amendments of April 2009 to the RA Law “On Television and Radio” did not ensure the pluralism in the broadcast regulatory body. The report also lists the incidents with journalists. Particularly, the assaults of: Argishti Kivirian, Coordinator of ARMENIA Today news agency (April 30, 2009), Nver Mnatsakanian, author and host of “Perspective” program cycle of “Shant” TV company (May 6, 2009), and Edik Baghdasarian, Head of “Investigative Journalists” NGO (November 17, 2008). “No conclusive investigations followed any of these incidents”, the report states. “Human Rights Watch” mentions the cases of impeding the professional activities of journalists on the day of elections to Council of Elderly of Yerevan on May 31, 2009, as well as the early release – for health reasons – of Arman Babajanian, Chief Editor of “Zhamanak” daily. In 2006 Arman Babajanian was sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment for document fraud to evade military service.