Law 17:59 05/08/2021 Armenia

Shushan Doydoyan: Decision to ban Panorama.am photographer from entering Armenian parliament ‘arbitrary’

Journalistic organizations will soon issue a joint statement on the decision to ban Panorama.am photographer Lilian Galstyan from entering the National Assembly of Armenia from August 5.

Speaking to Panorama.am, Director of the Freedom of Information Center NGO Shushan Doydoyan denounced the decision as “arbitrary”, highlighting the importance for the journalistic organizations to unanimously oppose it and put pressure on the authorities to overturn the ban.

The expert stated the ban on the entry of photographer Lilian Galstyan into the National Assembly is a gross obstruction of journalistic work, and, accordingly, a violation of the people’s right to get information, a gross restriction of freedom of and access to information.

“Although the National Assembly leadership is trying to lull the vigilance of the people, claiming that they are trying to regulate the work of journalists, in this case it is clear that all this is aimed not at regulating, but more at hindering the work of journalists, creating obstacles for them, thus depriving the public of the fundamental right to receive information,” Doydoyan said.

The Freedom of Information Center head noted that photographer Lilian Galstyan carried out her work with high professionalism and the published photos are shots of classical journalism, which reveal the situation in and around the parliament.

“She took great photos in the National Assembly, at its corridors. Everyone who saw those images called the restrictions that people in military uniform imposed on the media in the National Assembly absurd. And since the photos are worth a thousand words, clearly demonstrating the atmosphere that the parliamentary leadership has created for journalists, naturally, it is trying to take steps to prohibit a conscientious photographer from entering the National Assembly. This ban is illegal,” Doydoyan emphasized.

According to the expert, the entry of media representatives into a structure may be limited for only two reasons.

“In the first case, it may be limited if the presence of a journalist or a media representative may contain risks or security threats, which has absolutely nothing to do with this incident. The second case is when the number of journalists is so large that they have to apply entry restrictions, since everyone will not fit in the building, its halls. All other grounds are arbitrary and subjective and cannot be considered as consistent with the best international experience,” she underlined.

Shushan Doydoyan stressed the need for the parliament speaker to revise the decision as soon as possible, adding it will definitely affect the reputation of the legislative body.



Source Panorama.am
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