Vice-Speaker of the National Assembly Alen Simonyan presented a legislative initiative according to which the amount of compensation for insult and defamation published in social networks and the media, should be exceeded from 1 million drams, to 5 million drams in case of insult, and from 2 million to 10 million drams in case of defamation. “Media Advocate” Initiative condemns this legislative initiative, which is essentially aimed at restricting freedom of speech. The concepts of “defamation” and “insult” are not defined by law in Armenia.
With subjective judgement this or any other publication can be presented in the form of defamation, and become an instrument in the hands of the authorities to press the people and silence the press. It is necessary to exclude any tendency to use the law in one’s own interests. “Media Advocate” Initiative is against defamation and insult, at the same time it condemns this draft which is aimed against freedom of speech. We urge opposition fractions of the National Assembly to take a stand against this proposal and not to allow the adoption of similar initiatives.