March 24, 2015

Follow up of PACE announcement: Authorization of State-sponsored homophobia

Petra DeSutter, Belgian delegate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has initiated an announcement, which has been signed by 22 delegates regarding the case of 16 citizens against Iravunk newspaper. Hayk Babukhanyan, the president of the editorial board of Iravunk, member of Armenia's Republican Party Faction of the National Assembly, in his turn, stated that he expects PACE delegates to apologize and leave Iravunk newspaper alone.

On this occasion PINK Armenia has sent letters to various commissions of National Assembly, as well as to the MPs of the Republican Party to find the steps for the follow up of PACE recommendations.

Serzh Sargsyan awarded the
leader of homophobic newspaper
On March 2 we received responses from The Republican Party Faction (secretary) and Standing Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs. The letter of Standing Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs stated that the matter raised by PINK Armenia was not subjected to discussion.

The response from The Republican Faction said that Hermine Naghdalyan (the head of the Armenian delegation to the PACE, Republican Party) had made a statement on regards to the article by Iravunk, and regarding the announcement made by 22 PACE delegates – MP Hayk Babukhanyan issued an open letter where he explained the situation and demanded an apology from 22 delegates. Together with the letter, the open letter of Babukhanyan and 2 editions of Iravunk newspaper were attached. As a further matter, some articles regarding the case were highlighted, entitled “Naghdalyan left homosexual lobbyists empty-handed”, “Coordinated attack from Strasburg [to Berdzor]”, etc. Is it needless to mention “Iravunk” is published under the state support?

March 20, 2015

The Court of Appeal decision on the case against “Iravunk”

Photo by
On February 20, the Civil Court of Appeal reviewed the claim of 16 citizens’ case against “Iravunk” newspaper. The judge ignored the motion to present additional facts to the case (Information Disputes Council found that the expressions and calls for action voiced in the article were displays of extremism and hate speech and written declaration of PACE delegate Petra DeSutter signed by 22 delegates) and on March 5 it rejected 16 citizen`s claim against “Iravunk”, according to which the editor of “Iravunk” newspaper Hovhannes Galajyan’s article titled “They serve the interests of international homosexual lobbying: the blacklist of country’s and nation’s enemies” offended the honor and dignity of the plaintiffs.

According to the Court Decision no offensive remarks were used in the article and it corresponds to the principles of freedom of speech. The verdict obliged the plaintiffs to compensate 50,000 AMD in favor of each respondent party: “Iravunk Media” LTD and Hovhannes Galajyan.

It should be recalled that Judge Nakhshun Tavaratsyan basically revealed in one question that the court has already decided the verdict of the Iravunk case during the trial;
“Does Conchita [Wurst] know that you are defending her this much?”