Armenia: the government must put an end to online harassment of journalists
The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ) join their affiliate in Armenia, the Union of Armenian journalists (UAJ), in condemning the campaign of insults and harassment launched by government supporters on social networks and in certain online media following Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan‘s press conference in Yerevan on 25 July, in a climate of tension following the events in Karabakh. We call on the Armenian authorities to publicly denounce these threats and to prosecute and punish the perpetrators.
Among others, journalists Ani Gevorgyan and Hripsime Jebejyan have been the target of death threats and threats of physical violence. The journalists’ union condemned a concerted and deliberate attack by activists close to the government and by some public officials. UAJ also accused the Prime Minister of having encouraged this online hate campaign. The union has referred the matter to the human rights defender of Armenia, Anahit Manasyan.
“Journalists work under conditions of real terror,” said UAJ President Satik Seyranyan. “They are really in danger”. The EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez called on the Armenian authorities to publicly denounce these threats and to identify, prosecute and punish the perpetrators, especially if they are official representatives of the public authorities.
The IFJ Deputy General Secretary Tim Dawson said: “Harassment on social media seriously affects journalists’ mental health and their ability to do their jobs. Armenian government ministers should condemn these attacks and work to allow reporters the freedom to carry out their work”.