Armenian President Removes Media Restrictions

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT REMOVES MEDIA RESTRICTIONS

ARKA
March 13, 2008

YEREVAN, March 13. /ARKA/. RA President Robert Kocharyan has removed
a number of restrictions imposed of Armenia’s mass media by a decree
on a state of emergency in the country. The new decree is to take
effect on March 14.

The RA presidential press service reports that the RA President made
alterations to his decree of March 1. The new wording of Sub-Paragraph
4 of Paragraph 4 is: "prohibition of deliberate misinformation of
mass media on state and domestic political affairs".

The decree prohibits any calls for participation in illegal
activities, as well as dissemination of misinformation on such
activities. According to the original wording of the presidential
decree, mass media were allowed to public information on state and
domestic political affairs exclusively within the limits of official
information.

At his meeting with journalists yesterday, President Robert Kocharyan
stated the possibility of altering the terms of emergency in Yerevan.

"This evening or tomorrow morning I will sign a decree altering the
approach. At present, as part of the state of emergency we are pointing
to what may be done, and the new decree will point to what may not,"
Kocharyan said.

Today, the RA President’s decree also invalidates Sub-Paragraph 5 of
Paragraph 4 of the March 1 decree, saying: "political propaganda by
means of leaflets or by other means is prohibited unless permitted
by relevant government bodies".

On March 1, 2008, the RA President signed a decree imposing a state
of emergency in Yerevan.

The following points of the decree remain in force: prohibition
of meetings, demonstrations, processions, strikes and other mass
activities hindering organizations’ activities; law-enforcers are
entitled to search vehicles and individuals.

On March 10, the RA President signed a decree removing the restrictions
on the activities of parties and other public organizations preventing
the elimination of circumstances that led to the declaration of a
state of emergency. The decree also invalidated the points on the
eviction of people violating the emergency regime.

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