BAKU: The law ”On freedom of information” democratic externally

Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network
(CASCFEN), Azerbaijan
March 22 2004

The law ”On freedom of information” is democratic only externally – The law “On freedom of information” of the Republic
of Armenia is democratic only externally, actually there are no some
important elements in it necessary for development of democracy. On
March 20 at the session of the round table on the theme “Reforms of
the legislation on mass media of Armenia and its conformity to the
European standards” has declared about this the Minister of Justice
of Armenia David Arutyunyan.

As he said, the law “On freedom of information” is imperfect, as it
has many contradictions, including the name of the document. It is
natural, that the law has caused negative reaction of a society. As
minister has explained, the right of citizens of Armenia on getting
and distribution of the information is fixed in the article 24 of the
Constitution of Armenia. Meanwhile the name of the new law “On
freedom of information” assumes only freedom of reception of the
information, and is spoken nothing about its distribution. “The
discussed question is not deprived political nuances, therefore
arrival to the certain result for us is especially important”, has
noted D.Arutyunyan.

As minister assures, the purpose of the state is maintenance of
original freedom of information. “The law should be finished, that it
would not be only declarative, but also working”, David Arutyunyan
has noted. With this purpose the Ministry of Justice of Armenia has
addressed in the Armenian representations of OSCE and USAID with the
request for granting the help as an expert for studying the
legislation of mass media of Armenia.

D.Arutyunyan does not deny that the legislative field of Armenia is
rather inconsistent. After declaration the independence of the
country in the legislation of Armenia it was totaled by 70 thousand
legal acts semi-centennial and more prescription. After clarification
of a legislative field from 70 thousand remained only 30 legal acts
which demand additional study.

Translated from Russian by CASCFEN.