GALA TV paid the penalties and fines of the tax inspection

The telethon/fundraising conducted for Gala TV Company in Gyumri was a success. The necessary sum was collected and completely transferred to tax inspection.

During these days of telethon, 26 million 458 thousand 500 drams have been transferred to the television company. The whole amount has been given to Judicial Act Enforcement Body. The rest of the amount, consisting of about 441 thousand dram will be exacted from the TV company account number where there is 540 thousand drams.

Via E-channel.

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Free speech costs 25.665.100 drams in Armenia

The administrative war launched from October 14, 2007 by RA State bodies against the Gyumri GALA (Independent Information Channel of Gyumri) TV company is coming to a close, and this last free TV channel in Armenia will soon be forced to pay 25 million Armenian drams for making use of its Constitutional right of freedom of speech.

Having led a disparate campaign of protecting GALA’s rights via a series of court proceedings, petitions, demonstrations and having lost all confidence in the Judicial system of Armenia, the Headquarters of Freedom of Speech and GALA TV Protection has issued the following call, directed at all those, who care about the Freedom of Speech in this country:

Dear Friends, bank accounts have been opened in the name of GALA TV founder, where contributions are requested from various regions of Armenia as well as from our compatriots and sympathetic people from around the world. By contributing to these accounts you will help pay the price of Free Speech in Armenia – which is 25.665.100 drams (around $ 84,200 US). This amount, which exceeds 3 year earnings of this small regional TV company, is indeed a small price to pay for the noble cause of protecting our most basic human rights. We call on you to contribute or loan money to us (which GALA TV will be obliged to pay back within 3 years period), to the following bank accounts:

For transfers in AMD:
“YUNIBANK” CJSC, “Gyumri” Branch,
Account number: 2410 3101 2610 Vahan Khachatryan

For transfers in USD
Intermediary Bank: Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, New York
SWIFT: BKTR US 33
Beneficiary’s bank: UNIBANK, Armenia, SWIFT: UNIJ AM 22
Acc: 0443 7920 “UNIBANK” CJSC GYUMRI BRANCH
Beneficiary: Khachatryan Vahan Account: 2410 3111 2618

Despite the fact, that this call for assistance was issued starting from March 17, the Headquarters of Freedom of Speech and GALA TV Protection as well as the management of the GALA TV company have already received several hundred phone calls, stating their support for our cause and expressing readiness to assist. Feel free to contact us at: +374 312 31819, +374 312 31889 or call directly the founder of GALA TV Vahan Khachatryan at: + 374 91 43 55 63.

Background: The RA Authorities started a incredible administrative pressures (Via the RA Presidential Office, RA State Security Service: Shirak and Gyumri branches, RA State Tax Service operatives and Gyumri Tax Service, RA National Committee of Television and Radio officials), after the TV company dared to broadcast on October 14, 2007, the 22 minute public speech made by the RA first president L. Ter-Petrossian, after his 10 year-long silence, at Marcotte-Armenia hotel on September 21, 2007.

Civil Initiative From Yerevan Supports Gala TV Rally in Gyumri

With the initiative of Sksela youth movement and support of Center for Regional Development / Transparency Armenia, a group of 34 journalists and civil society activists, including representatives of Sksela youth movement, CRD / TI, Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, Yerevan Press Club, Helsinki Citizens Assembly – Yerevan, PanArmenian Association of Women visited Gyumri today, to take part in the rally staged in support of Gala TV company, which has come under the attack of tax inspection service and Gyumri municipality, after its refusal to comply with the directions of the authorities, not to broadcast the announcement about the first opposition rally on October 26 with the participation of Former President Levon Ter-Petrossian.

Around 1000 people gathered at the rally in support of the small regional TV company, despite the freezing cold. E-channel has more:

Armed with the posters Paws off from Gala, our Favorite Child!; Authorities change, Freedom is eternal; Enemies of Freedom of Speech will be punished by the Law and, Public Ignorance, and that Day will come by the Damnation of God, the gathering organizers and participants left Asparez journalists’ club for the Theater Square in Gyumri.

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Levon Barseghyan, the chairman of Asparez club opened the meeting on behalf of the headquarters of freedom of speech and Gala support. He briefly presented the recent events around Gala, repeating that the officials involved in this case will have to answer for it.
“I am glad that here we have everybody that considers himself free, that is not scared to protect his and others’ freedom, that has understood that people closing Gala TC yesterday closed A1+ and Noyan Tapan and tomorrow are going to dictate to them how to live, how to breathe, what to listen to, what to watch, and how to think. We are not going to permit closing of Gala – they will not manage to do it,” Levon Barseghyan said.

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At the end of the meeting, Levon Barseghyan congratulated the coming New Year of the gathered people, promising “to bring black New Year over those closing Gala” if that rally and their protests had no influence. The last sentence was also awarded by the encouragement of the gathered people.

We Are Nothing Without Our Freedom of Speech

The Headquarters of Protecting Freedom of Speech and Gala TV

are inviting a rally in support of Gala TV and The Freedom of Speech and Expression for us all. (The Gyumri Municipality is duly informed)

The rally is scheduled on

DECEMBER 19, AT 4 P.M.
IN GYUMRI THEATRE SQUARE

ALL THE PEOPLE, WHO CONSIDER THEMSELVES FREE, AND WHO ARE NOT AFRAID OF PROTECTING OTHERS’ RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
ARE INVITED

WE WON’T LET THEM SHUT DOWN GALA TV
THEY WON’T SUCCEED IN DOING IT

Levon Barseghyan and Vahan Tumasyan
On behalf of The Headquarters of Protecting Freedom of Speech and Gala TV

Protest Rally in Support of Gala TV Renders Results

[Via Echannel: 2007-12-13 05:31] At the Gyumri residence of the commercial court, the trial City administration against Gala TV company has been accompanied by the demonstration of protest conducted by the TV company supporters in front of the court building.

According to the head of the Committee to Protect Freedom of Speech – Ashot Melikyan, it was also as a result of this rally, that the judge Edward Nahapetyan has avoided making a decision in favor of Gyumri municipality, declaring that the trial is being postponed until getting an answer from the Court of Cassation about mediation on conducting the court session in another location.

This demonstration followed the news that was reported yesterday, about the court process initiated by Gyumri administration, trying to deprive the Chap LTD – the founder of Gala Television Company from the possibility to use the old TV tower of Gyumri (which was restored into working condition by Chap LTD and was used for the broadcasting antenna of the TV company).

In response to attempts by various government bodies, including the state tax service and Gyumri administration to deprive Gala TV of air, a civil initiative group, naming themselves the “Headquarters of Defenders of Gala Television Company” was established in Gyumri yesterday, which has vowed to defend Gala TV by all means, so as the story “with A1+ and Noyan Tapan” is not repeated.

While the pressures against Gala are underway, the supporters of the small regional television company have declared, that following today’s demonstration, there will be another gathering in support of Gala TV Company on December 19, at 16:00.

One cannot help wondering – just how far the authorities of Armenia are ready to push this micro-war with this small regional TV company, which is simply attempting to protect its editorial independence.