Armenia is ranked 79th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, five places lower than in the 2016 Index. April 6, 2018 Mounting concern about press freedom in Armenia News April 9, 2021 Find out more Organisation Help by sharing this information to go further Credit: Karen Minasyan / AFP Forum on Information and Democracy 250 recommendations on how to stop “infodemics” Follow the news on Armenia June 8, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF_en ArmeniaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesMedia independence Judicial harassmentViolenceFreedom of expression News November 11, 2020 Find out more Russian peacekeepers deny foreign reporters access to Nagorno-Karabakh News As Armen Sarkissian, the first Armenian president to elected by parliament, prepares to take office on 9 April, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) points out that halting the decline in media freedom will be a major task facing Armenia’s government.“We are disturbed by the downward trend in respect for press freedom in Armenia and we urge parliament to reconsider recent legislative initiatives reducing the right of access to information and obstructing journalists’ work,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “The authorities must also conduct full and impartial investigations into acts of violence against journalists and end impunity for such acts.”Right to information threatenedRSF is concerned about a series of legislative initiatives reducing journalists’ access to information in the public interest, the latest of which keep reporters away from the places where the authorities take decisions.Under legislative amendments passed by parliament on 23 March, without prior discussion with the journalistic community, government ministers will no longer be able to give interviews without the prime minister’s permission, and reporters will not normally be allowed to attend government meetings, including cabinet meetings, which will be held behind closed doors.A local government law approved the same day included a surprise, last-minute amendment that deprives journalists of access to the city hall in the capital, Yerevan. They will be restricted to a separate press centre and will not be able to attend municipal council meetings without the mayor’s prior authorization.The amendment was added to the law at its second reading, and its hasty adoption is attributed to an incident at a municipal council meeting in February, when reporters were able to provide live TV coverage of municipal officials and ruling party members using violence against an opposition representative.In 2017, media and civil society representatives campaigned against a law proposed by the justice ministry restricting access to state-held information. Its provisions were much less liberal than those in place for the past 14 years. In a bid to defuse tension, the bill’s adoption was postponed for six months in December, but local NGOs are still calling for it to be scrapped or for a proper process of consultation.The lack of consultation is a recurring problem. Journalists did not learn about major amendments to the law on protection of personal data until two months after their adoption in early 2017. The amendments impose drastic curbs on the media’s ability to gather and publish personal information, forcing them to obtain the consent of the persons concerned, regardless of their status.By eliminating the exemption that journalists previously enjoyed, the law now contradicts Armenia’s media law, which allows the publication of information about a person’s family and private life if a public interest is served. Investigative reporting is now endangered because public figures could sue journalists for revealing personal information even if the journalists were investigating corruption, for example.Rising violence, continuing impunityThe number of attacks on media personnel has increased in recent years and at least 17 journalists were the victims of violence in 2017.The 2017 parliamentary election campaign was the most fraught period. Shoghik Galstyan and Hayk Petrosyan of the news website Araratnews.am and Sisak Gabrielyan of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenian service were attacked near the headquarters of one of the candidates in Yerevan on election day itself.Three other journalists were previously the victims of violence during the election campaign, while several journalists were threatened and prevented from covering the voting.Surge in defamation suitsLast year also saw a big surge in the number of legal actions against journalists and media outlets. A total of 60 lawsuits were filed in 2017, more than three times the 2016 total of 17, and more than at any time since defamation was decriminalized in 2010.No fewer than 30 complaints were brought in March 2017 alone against Daniel Ioannisyan, the founder of the fact-checking website Sut.am and an NGO called the Union of Informed Citizens. None of the cases prospered in court. News ArmeniaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesMedia independence Judicial harassmentViolenceFreedom of expression RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan
RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Number signing on in Donegal down by nearly 2,000 Facebook Homepage BannerNews Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released By admin – November 7, 2015 PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal WhatsApp Google+ HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Pinterest Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Twitter Twitter Previous articleTraveller family in Donegal face homelessness on the brink of ChristmasNext articleRight2Water claim Donegal residents are receiving intimidating text messages from Irish Water admin Facebook WhatsApp Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers The number signing on the live register in Donegal has fallen by almost 2,000 in the last year.All social welfare offices across the county have shown a reduction in numbers.Government representatives have praised the Action Plan for Jobs for the reduction while others suggest it is more to do with emigration and schemes such as jobsbridge.The number signing on in Donegal last month was 16,173 – 600 less than the previous month and almost 2,000 less than October of 2014.All offices recorded a decrease over the course of the year – In Letterkenny the figure last month was 4,950 a drop of almost 600 on October 2014 and but slightly up on the previous month.In inishowen, 3,053 people singed on last month 180 less than September and 550 less than October 2014.Elsewhere there was a slight decrease in those signing on Between September and October in Ballybofey, Dunfanaghy, Dungloe and Killybegs but a slight month on month increase was recorded in Ballyshannon and Donegal Town. Google+ Pinterest
Miu Luu(NEW YORK) — The mother of a missing 16-year-old Pennsylvania girl who is believed to have run away with a 45-year-old man sent a message to her daughter in an interview with ABC News.“Amy, I love you, can you come back?” Miu Luu of Allentown, Pennsylvania, said Friday, addressing her daughter, Amy Yu.Yu along with Kevin Esterly, 45, have been missing since March 5, and police believe the teen left with the man willingly.When the girl did not return home from school that night, her mother reported her missing, the Allentown Police Department said.Two days later, police received information indicating that on the night of March 5, Yu and Esterly took a one-way flight from Philadelphia to Cancun, police said.Luu reported to police after her daughter’s disappearance that money, jewelry and Yu’s personal documents were also missing, according to a police report.The mother told ABC News she doesn’t care if her daughter has spent her money, she just wants her to come home to her and her brother.The girl’s brother, 15-year-old John Yu, added, “I hope you come home safely. Please don’t get into any trouble, and just get home safely.”An Amber Alert has been issued in Mexico for Amy Yu.“Prior to the Amber Alert in Mexico, the information that Amy Yu and Kevin Esterly were likely in Mexico was not released as it is believed that Kevin Esterly and/or Amy Yu are monitoring media reports,” police said in a news release Friday.Allentown police issued a message to the teen Friday, “Amy, if you are uncertain how to come home or who to contact for help, you may simply reach out to a law enforcement official, a resort staff member, or contact your mom via text message, email or social media, and we will work to reunite you with your family right away.”Esterly, who is married, met the teen at church, and Amy Yu appears to have been friends with one of Esterly’s daughters, said Gary Hammer of the Colonial Regional Police, which has jurisdiction over Amy Yu’s school, Lehigh Valley Academy.When Amy Yu was asked by members of the Leigh Country Child Advocacy Center whether she was having a relationship with Esterly, she denied it, Hammer said.However, Amy Yu altered her school records and listed Esterly as her stepfather, Hammer added. At least 10 times between December and Feb. 9, Esterly signed her out of school early, he said.Feb. 9 was the day when Luu came to the school to pick up her daughter, “and the school said her stepfather already signed her out of school,” Hammer told ABC News last week.“The mom explained she is a single mother,” Hammer said. “There is no stepfather.”Lehigh Valley Academy confirmed that Esterly has been on school grounds before and was last there on Feb. 9.“After that date, due to circumstances we cannot disclose pursuant to student privacy constraints, he was prohibited from entering school grounds, and the police were to be notified if he returned,” the school said in a statement last week.The school said in its statement, “Due to federal and state privacy constraints, the school is prohibited from releasing any additional information about the student or the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation unless the parent provides express consent for the school to do so.“We are, however, working closely with the Colonial Regional Police and the Allentown Police and are providing whatever information and assistance we can to assist them and Amy’s family during this difficult time,” the school added.The school called the Colonial Regional Police immediately and it started investigating. The department found video of Esterly signing the teen out and leaving with her, Hammer said.On March 7, a family member of Esterly reported him as missing or endangered, and that same day, an arrest warrant for Esterly was issued, charging him with interference with the custody of children, the police said.Amy Yu is about 4 feet 11 inches tall and 90 pounds, and Esterly is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 185 pounds, according to police.Authorities believe they may be in a 1999 red, two-door Honda Accord with the Pennsylvania plate KLT 0529.Anyone who sees either of them is asked to call 911, local police or the Allentown Police at 610-437-7751.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.