Statement of journalists covering the "7 trial"

On January 9 correspondents of “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun”, “Aravot”, “Haikakan Zhamanak”, “Taregir”, “Zhamanak” newspapers, “A1+” TV company released a statement regarding the obstacles that they face in covering the trial on “The Case of Seven” (the separate trial of the case of seven supporters of the RA First President Levon Ter-Petrosian, charged with the organization of mass disorders and attempts for violent seizure of power). At the hearing of the case that started on December 19, 2008 in the court building of Shengavit community of Yerevan, the statement of the journalists stresses, the judge at chair, “with the consent of all parties ruled to make no restrictions on the activities of media – reporting on the court session, being present in the court room, making video, audio and photo records”. However, the statement goes on saying, at the subsequent three sessions the court bailiffs either did not allow the reporters in the courtroom, offering them to follow the process by monitors in a designated room, or let in selectively, prohibiting the journalists from having recording equipment on them.
Qualifying the occurrence as obstruction of journalistic activities, violation of the RA Constitution and RA Law “On Mass Communication”, the signatories called on the relevant bodies to ensure the necessary conditions for their work, not to restrict the right of journalists and society to complete and comprehensive information on the trial.
The statement of the journalists was joined by the editorial staff of “Hraparak” daily.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant