In a 2010 Freedom House report, Armenia was considered not free when it comes to freedom of the press. It ranked 146th place, along with Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco and Qatar, in the world ranking list of 196 countries. In a Freedom of the Press 2011 Survey Release, Armenia is still considered not free and ranked at 146th place, however, sharing the spot only with Egypt.
International human rights organizations have also raised alarm bells when it comes to press freedom in Armenia. As recently as May 1, 2011, Reporters Without Borders issued a statement in which it said “there were 12 defamation actions during the first quarter of 2011 alone.” The US-based international organization particularly drew attention to the cases against local dailies Haykakan Jamanak (“Armenian Times”), Jamanak (“Times”), Hraparak and Yerkir (“Country”).
In 2009, Haykakan Jamanak chief editor Nikol Pashinyan was imprisoned for his political views. In the fall of 2010, there were reports that he had ben attacked in Kosh penitentiary were he was serving his sentence at the time. According to Pashinyan, he was occasionally threatened to stop writing articles. He further insists that after being moved to Artik penitentiary his right to correspondence has been violated — that he is not receiving mail and his articles are not getting to the Haykakan Jamanak editorial office.
May 3 marks the World Press Freedom Day.