Opposition Media Not Invited To Armenian President’s Presser


July 23 2008

An Armenian pro-opposition editor has described as an "unreasonable
decision" the failure to invite the opposition press to President
Serzh Sargsyan’s news conference on 21 July.

An editorial in Aravot daily on 23 July said that the media should
not be divided into friends and foes. Since Sargsyan has declared
himself the president of all citizens, the readers of opposition
newspapers also have the right to know what the president says,
the report said. It added that on the other hand, young journalists
representing Armenian bloggers had attended the news conference. The
report said that "the bloggers" were mainly interested in why the
government did not use violence against the opposition sit-in in
Yerevan’s Northern Avenue and why the government did not disperse
opposition rallies in the capital.

In the meantime, presidential spokesman Samvel Farmanyan has said he
did not invite opposition Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper to President
Serzh Sargsyan’s news conference on 21 July as he did not find it
"appropriate" and because Haykakan Zhamanak did not cover events
objectively, Haykakan Zhamanak reported on 23 July. Haykakan Zhamanak
believes that Farmanyan has been assigned a very difficult mission, as
"being a state official, he decides who is objective and who is not".