Armenian Public Television and “I Have the Honor” bloc have applied to the Human Rights Defender of Armenia in regard to broadcasting of the bloc’s election campaign video, and the Ombudsman will forward inquires to Armenian Public Television and the National Commission on Television and Radio, the Office of the Human Rights Defender reports.
The Ombudsman has applied to Armenian Public Television in regard to, as the Ombudsman put it, “attempts of political repression against the First Channel”. According to the public appeal addressed to the Ombudsman, Armenian Public Television anticipates ‘an urgent response’ from the Ombudsman and ‘calls on protecting the commitment of Armenian Public Television to be impartial and non-discriminatory’, taking into account the statements by ‘different political forces’. According to the complaint, this concerns the showing of video clips of political forces that are disputed from the perspective of law.
In other words, an organization established by the Government of Armenia, that is, Armenian Public Television, anticipates the protection of the Ombudsman from the acts of a non-state organization, that is, a political force.
An official representative of the “I Have the Honor” bloc (participant of the election campaign) has also applied to the Human Rights Defender and stated that Armenian Public Television has been discriminatory and has rejected broadcasting of a campaign video clip without substantive justifications, only stating that the video contains offense and slander. According to the complaint, the act of Armenian Public Television is politically motivated.
In regard to the mentioned issues, the Ombudsman informs Armenian Public Television the following: “The Law on Human Rights Defender does not define jurisdiction of the Ombudsman over a private organization, especially a political organization. Therefore, the television company established by the Government can’t receive the support of the Human Rights Defender under the specified case. In this case, the complaint of the “I Have the Honor” bloc is targeted against a television company founded by the Government which, according to the bloc’s complaint, has acted under the order of the Government.