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Freedom House Says Passage of Bill in Armenia Increasing Fines for Defamation/Insult Poses Threat to Media Freedom

Freedom House issued a statement yesterday describing the recent passage of a bill by the Armenian parliament that increases fines for insult and defamation as a threat to media freedom and freedom of expression.

Marc Behrendt, Freedom House Director for Europe and Eurasia programs urged Armenian authorities to protect media freedom and free expression in the country.”

“It is unfortunate that the Armenian government is supporting fines that will stifle free expression and threaten the financial viability of media outlets in the country. Civil society has rightly criticized the bill on grounds that it could be abused to levy excessive fines and apply political pressure against independent media organizations for criticizing politicians and other powerful public figures. We urge the Armenian authorities to take the concerns of civil society and media organizations seriously and strike down this legislation,” Behrendt writes.

Freedom House is a U.S.-based, U.S. government-funded non-profit non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights.

Read full freedom House statement HERE

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