The bill proposes to criminalize heavy swearing. This is what Chair of the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly of Armenia, deputy of the My Step bloc Vladimir Vardanyan said during today’s discussion on the package of bills on making supplements to the Criminal Code and related laws.
According to Vardanyan, pursuant to the Constitution, human dignity is the foundation for human rights. “Many years ago, Armenia decriminalized criminal liability for swearing, and it was the right decision, but it is necessary to differentiate between insults and swearing, as well as insulting human dignity in an extremely indecent manner,” Vardanyan said, emphasizing the fact that “distance” insults through social networks have become particularly dangerous in the country.
Vardanyan stated that the supplements to the Criminal Code comprise three parts, and only the third part implies detention as an extreme measure, and there are fines in the rest of the cases.
According to the bill, insulting a person will be punished with a fine in the amount of AMD 100-500,000. Moreover, disseminating materials containing swearing through the use of information and communication technologies or by other means in public, as well as certain public activities will be fiend in the amount of AMD 500,000-1,000,000. If the insults are made by the same person periodically, according to the bill, the fine must be AMD 1-3,000,000,000. In this case, the person will be detained for one to three months. In his turn, deputy of the My Step bloc Nikolay Baghdasaryan criticized his fellow deputy’s legislative initiative, noting that it’s unclear how judges will differentiate between slight insult and a swear word.
MP Sofia Hovsepyan expressed concern that the new law will become a tool for political persecution since the assessments on or criticism of the swear words may be rather subjective. In response, Deputy Minister of Justice Kristinne Grigoryan stated that this concerns uncensored swear words, not criticism.