Media Advocate: Intolerance against freedom of speech has increased

On January 28, to journalist Liana Sargsyan’s question addressed to the PM in Yerablur, whether Pashinyan is announcing from the high tribune that Shushi is Azerbaijani city, Pashinyan answered: “Wait a minute, write that very quote of mine on a piece of paper, and bring that quote to me so as to prove I have stated such a thing, then I will answer to your question via live.”

On January 29, accepting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s condition, Liana Sargsyan had written on a poster the following thought expressed by the Prime Minister from the NA tribune: “Do you want to say that Shushi, which had 90% Azerbaijani population, is Armenian by its status?” She had approached the government building, where the Kashatagh people, who lost their houses as a result of the November 9 agreement, were protesting.

Liana Sargsyan had given the Prime Minister 20 minutes to fulfill his promise. During that time, Nikol Pashinyan’s supporters had approached the government building and had attacked the journalist, pushing her, seizing the poster and tearing it.

“Media Advocate” initiative spoke with Liana Sargsyan, who mentioned in her speech that Nikol Pashinyan’s supporters were there on purpose. She added that after the incident, the police admitted that the attacker on the journalist had actually damaged Liana’s property, and offered her to write an application in the police.

“Media Advocate” initiative once again proves that intolerance against freedom of speech has increased. The authorities are responsible for such incidents, which, in turn, regularly target the media and journalists, thus creating grounds to attack journalists.

During the tenure of these authorities, the attacks on journalists’ and editorial offices did not receive any legal assessment, and today the police, in fact, accepting that the attacking side was wrong, waited until the journalist wrote an application. The woman, who stood out for her aggressive behavior, should have been detained, even if no application had been written in relation to the incident.

“Media Advocate” initiative considers the situation troublesome and urges the journalists and the media community to fight together against permissiveness.