On June 17 RA President Serzh Sargsian signed the Law “On Introducing Amendments and Supplements to the RA Law ‘On Television and Radio’”. The document was adopted by RA National Assembly on June 10.
As it has been reported, the draft law was elaborated by the RA Ministry of Economy and was justified by the need of switching from analog to digital broadcasting. Since the release, the adoption in first hearing (May 20) and during all further discussions, the document has been criticized by journalistic and international organizations. The latter noted that the draft does not solve the crucial issues of broadcast sphere regulation and recommended to introduce some essential changes to it. The approval of the amendments raised new heavy critics. Thus, on June 10 the US Mission to the OSCE urged the Armenian Government and National Assembly to further amend the legislation, taking into account the OSCE’s recommendations, in order to make the legislation consonant with international standards and OSCE commitments and to do so in an inclusive and transparent manner. In the statement of June 15 Dunja Mijatovic, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, considered the amendments to the Law “On Television and Radio” as not promoting broadcast pluralism in the digital era. The letter of international organization Human Rights Watch to RA President Serzh Sargsian (June 15) called to refrain from signing the law and instead return it to the parliament with the aim of bringing the document into compliance with Armenia’s international obligations on freedom of expression. Human Rights Watch also pointed out the obligation of Armenia to fulfill the ruling of European Court of Human Rights of June 17, 2008 on the case of “A1+” TV company (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, June 11-17, 2010).