We urge “Azatutyun” TV not to break proportion in favor of the authorities

Yesterday, as a result of the examination of the appeal of March 1 case defendant, second President of the Republic Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, the Constitutional Court made a decision according to which, one of the two articles disputed in the appeal is considered unconstitutional. Let’s remind that, Article 35 of the Criminal Procedure Code deals with circumstances excluding criminal proceedings or prosecution. At the same time, the Constitutional Court recognized Article 135 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, mentioned by Kocharyan, as constitutional.

The September 4 main issue of “Azatutyun” news center presented several reports on this topic but the proportion of viewpoints was not maintained. In one of the reports, only Kocharyan’s lawyer Aram Vardevanyan’s opinion is presented during a briefing with reporters organized after the Constitutional Court’s decision. Meanwhile, the opinion of the authorities has been given more time and included several interviews.

As a counterbalance to Aram Vardevanyan’s briefing with journalists, “Azatutyun” broadcasted interviews with government officials and their supporters, in particularly with the NA Vice Speaker Alen Simonyan, former member of March 1 fact-finding group Andranik Kocharyan, representative of the successors of the 9 March 1 victims, Tigran Yegoryan, who mostly express political assessments, such as, “Armenian citizens have no confidence in current Constitutional Court president”, “Hrayr Tovmasyan came to power due to March 1”, “It should be clarified whether Hrayr Tovmasyan and other members of the court who are not judges, have right to make such a decision”, “the Constitutional Court’s decision is unconstitutional” and other similar assessments.

We urge “Azatutyun” TV to maintain impartiality and not to break the proportion of opinions and positions in favor of the authorities when disseminating information.