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Deputy Minister of Justice participated in the Workshop on Freedom of Expression and Media

08/12/2016

On 8 December, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Artak Asatryan participated in the Workshop on Freedom of Expression and Media held within the framework of the "Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument" (TAIEX) Programme.

The event was aimed at identifying the guarantees for the protection of freedom of expression and media in practice and those provided for by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms which the Republic of Armenia ratified in 2002 and made a number of amendments to the national legislation and law-enforcement practice.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski, Head of the Division for Police Issues of the Ministry of Justice of Sweden Nils Hänninger, as well as experts of the European Court of Human Rights and others were also present at the workshop.

Greeting the attendees, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and Deputy Representative of the Republic of Armenia before the European Court of Human Rights Artak Asatryan highly appreciated the activities carried out within the scope of the Programme and noted that the right to freedom of expression and media — along with the day-to-day development of information technologies, social networks, as well as the media field in our society — is becoming more important and a new quality is being conveyed.

Artak Asatryan added that the objective of the State as a specific mechanism for the organisation of social life should be to ensure favourable conditions for the right to freedom of expression and, where necessary, to apply proportionate restrictions.

The Deputy Minister also referred to the new and more distinct guarantees for the right to freedom of expression and the exhaustive grounds for their restriction during the constitutional reforms implemented in Armenia, emphasising that clarification of the status of the body regulating this field, namely, the Commission on Television and Radio, the introduction of more effective mechanisms for the selection of its members, as well as the establishment of stricter requirements for them was of vital importance.

In his speech, the Deputy Minister attached importance to the conduct of the workshop, noting that it served as a very good opportunity and a platform to identify the shortcomings of the field, exchange ideas about the ways to address the deficiencies and eventually outline future legislative and practical actions for the purpose of overcoming the challenges in the field.

Head of the Division for Legal Support of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Bagrat Ghazinyan touched upon the standards of freedom of expression and media in Armenia and presented the major legal developments in this field. In particular, he attached importance to the constitutional and legal regulations on guaranteeing the freedom of mass media and other means of information within the scope of which the status of the regulatory body, with its inherent questions, had been constitutionally stipulated. According to Bagrat Ghazinyan, the changes made in this field will have a significant impact on the field, guaranteeing full implementation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.

During the event, the attendees also touched upon Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the introduction into the legislation and law-enforcement practice of and compliance with the European standards of freedom of speech and media, and other issues.

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