The Media Advocate initiative has posted the following on its Facebook page:
“Right of the media to ask the Prime Minister questions and receive answers directly is being restricted
According to the statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations of the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia, “Starting from May 26, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan will be regularly holding briefings with Deputy Prime Minister, Commandant for the state of emergency Tigran Avinyan and Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan after the sessions of the Commandant’s Office, as reported the news department of the Government of Armenia.
The briefings will be held online and will be exclusively devoted to the coronavirus pandemic, the steps that the Commandant’s Office is taking to prevent the spread of the pandemic, the rearmament of the healthcare system and other issues related to this.
During each briefing, the Prime Minister and the other participants will answer two questions. Before each briefing, the news service of the Prime Minister will contact two media outlets to receive their questions of concern, and those questions will be addressed live.
This is a de facto restriction on the right of the media to ask the Prime Minister questions and receive answers directly. The statement doesn’t state how the Prime Minister will select the media outlets to which he will give answers,” the statement reads.
The Media Advocate initiative emphasizes that it will follow the course of the regular briefings and calls on media outlets to contact the Media Advocate initiative, if they notice violation of their rights.