Thursday, 21 November

Statement by the Investigative Journalists of Armenia

On December 1, 2004 the city council of Alaverdi barred the local TV station Ankiun Plus 3 from filming a council meeting and subsequently closed the meeting to all reporters, because certain city council members had been displeased with recent coverage by Ankiun Plus 3.

Armenian law stipulates that local government must be transparent, but by closing this session to journalists the city council deprived local residents of their right to obtain information of immediate concern through a media outlet. The decision represents a gross violation of the right of journalists to obtain and disseminate information.

We strongly condemn this decision by the city council of Alaverdi and demand an explanation for this unlawful action. Our organization has initiated an investigation into why the city council of Alaverdi conducts closed-door meetings and keeps its decisions secret.

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