July 06
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EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin answered the questions of following a forum for democracy hosted in Yerevan.

How do you assess the fact that the press representatives were not allowed to cover the Armenian Democracy forum?

This is a clear position. I think we need free, fair, transparent media that report on the events, that gives the citizens the possibility to make their own choice, to build an opinion.

I am very much against disinformation. I see a lot of hate speech and disinformation in certain media which makes it difficult for the citizens. But I am very much in favor to give the media the opportunity and you can be sure this is raised by me right now on the forum and by my American colleague. 

So, yes, we believe in the role of the media in a democratic process and that everybody has to acknowledge this. But there is one thing here: the responsibility of the media is to think about how they forward certain messages and that they do the fact check. This is the first thing I would ask the media and journalists.

The opposition criticizes you for not talking about the disproportionate actions of the police during the protests, why is the EU ambassador silent?

I follow the situation, I take it up with the relevant authorities. But I think the authorities should be given an opportunity to start investigations and follow up on the cases.

The fact that I am not talking is not true. I make comments, I am getting regular letters from the chairperson of the human rights committee, and I answer them.

But there are limits to the role of the international community. And I repeat we are not a tool in the political battle, this is not the role of embassies, nor diplomatic representation. What we do is observe the situation and when we have concerns, we raise them directly to the relevant authorities.

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