The Lurer program of the
Public Television channel H1 continues to mostly ignore the publications of the
Human Rights Defender of Armenian about the important events taking place in
the country, and operates on the principle of excluding the coverage of the
activities of the Defender as much as possible.
On May 6, 2021, the Human
Rights Defender Mr. Arman Tatoyan had already referred to this highly
reprehensible working method of the Public Television in his concluding speech
in the National Assembly dedicated to the Annual Report of the Office of the
Human Rights Defender
The results of the
objective monitoring conducted over several months are at the basis of this
statement. The coverage of the activities of the Defender were especially
limited after the mentioned speech at the National Assembly.
Taking into consideration
this unacceptable situation, the Office of the Defender conducted a new
The facts prove that
currently the situation is more worrying then it was before May 7 of this year:
This refers to the policy
of the Television channel of the government, to ignore the coverage of the only
human rights protection state institution envisaged by the Constitution of
Armenia; moreover, this policy violates human rights guaranteed by the
Constitution and various legislations.
The monitoring of all the
videos of Lurer videos published on YouTube during the period between July 1,
2021, till December 2, (10:00, 10:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00, The
day in 60 seconds (Օրը՝ 60 վայրկյանում- by Lurer program)) confirms that the
provision of objective and comprehensive information to people is seriously
violated, in terms of covering the activities of the Human Rights Defender, and
presenting human rights issues to the public, and promoting a freedom of
At the basis of this
conclusion are the results of the 5-month monitoring process, of which some
examples are provided below:
1During the mentioned
period, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia registered numerous issue in
psychiatric institutions, penitentiary institutions, medical care and housing
for servicemen, women and children's rights, in health, social, and other
spheres. The Defender has also provided proposals for solution of the mentioned
problems, and carried out public awareness activities aimed at breaking
stereotypes, none of which was made available to the public. No videos were
prepared presenting the problems from different viewpoints.
2During these 5 months,
the Human Rights Defender or a representative from the Office of the Defender
has not received an invitation for an interview on any subject from Lurer
In topics related to
human rights, the position of the Defender or the results of their activities
have not been covered.
This is specifically
important from the point of view that, for example, many issues faced in
penitentiary and psychiatric institutions are within the exclusive domain of
the Defender and their Office.
Coverage was made only in
rare and individual cases by merely reproducing the official message.
3Instead, the statements
of state bodies that unfoundedly denied the statements of the Human Rights
Defender of Armenia were unilaterally covered, but H1 did not provide coverage
to the Defender's statements on the main issues.
For example, the denials
of the Ministry of Defense, even the denials made by the municipality of Tegh
community, were broadcast, but the position of the Human Rights Defender was
not published and no inquiry was even made to clarify it.
4The facts prove that the
statements of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia which demonstrate the Azerbaijani
unlawful acts, the violations of the rights of the border residents of Armenia
are not covered, and the solutions proposed by the Defender are not presented
to the public, including as an alternative view from that of the Government. At
best, the positions of the Defender are mentioned in passing.
It is even more
reprehensible not to consistently cover the statements of the Human Rights
Defender on the Azerbaijani violations, as they are aimed at protecting the
rights of the population of Armenia, demonstrating the unlawfulness of the
presence of Azerbaijani armed servicemen in the vicinity of our villages and on
the roads connection Armenian communities.
The examples are plenty:
There is no reference in any program to the fact-finding activities in Syunik
province (November 29-December 2) and the registered issues.
On the contrary, during
those days, numerous one-sided reports obscuring the real situation on the
borders and distorting the facts were broadcast: These reportages contradicted
with the process of the protection of the rights of the population of Armenia.
The Human Rights Defender
has repeatedly warned that the Public Television, being founded by the
Government of Armenia, is obliged to take into consideration the fact that the
materials prepared by it express the state approach; this also implies that
these materials can be used as evidence against the rights of the citizens of
Armenia, especially in international instances. And vice versa, objective
coverage can be used as evidence of the protection of the rights of our
compatriots in international instances.
5In terms of covering the
activities of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, a similar situation is on
The described policy of
the Public Television is a gross violation of everyone's right to receive
information and to be aware of possible events in the country. The oversight of
the state by citizens, which is the cornerstone of democracy, is formed
providing people with objective information.
The attitude of H1
channel's Lurer program gives the impression that either the Office of the
Human Rights Defender does not exist in Armenia at all or it is totally
This leads to the fact
that the activities of the Human Rights Defender are not available to the
general public, especially in the regions, which is directly related to the
disruption of public trust and recognition. This, in turn, has a direct
negative impact on the Defender's efficient fulfillment of their constitutional
mission, taking into consideration that this mission is mainly carried out by
virtue of the power of public authority; consequently, as an external factor,
it threatens the ability of the Defender to assist the citizens. Ignoring to
cover the activities of the Defender (for a long time) hinders their ability to
work effectively on systemic issues (for example, the combat against hate
speech through public awareness, etc.). In other words, it is obvious that the
issue is related to the obstacles of the implementation of the constitutional
mission of the Human Rights Defender. Moreover, what is described is directly
related to the international accreditation of the Office of the Human Rights Defender.
Namely, the policy of the
H1 Channel violates the right of everyone to receive the assistance of the
Human Rights Defender guaranteed by the Constitution of Armenia, which is not
subject to restriction in any situation.
This is particularly
concerning, given that Lurer program is the main news provider throughout the
country, both in Armenia and in the Diaspora and Artsakh. In other words, this
is related to the rights of our compatriots living in Armenia, Artsakh and the
In other words, with the
described policy, the Public Television, being founded by the Government,
violates the positive obligations of the state, damages the freedom of speech
and the basis of democracy in the country, and sets dangerous precedents.
We specifically mention
that the Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia does not aspire to
appear on the TV in different programs every day. The issue is about the
institutional approach, and about the fact that key human rights issues are
ignored: This is what the Public Television's Lurer program is doing in a
reprehensible way for an extended period of time. We specifically mention that
this announcement refers only to H1's Lurer program, as the Office of the Human
Rights Defender has some cooperation in other non-media formats.
Thus, taking into
consideration the above-mentioned, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia Mr.
Arman Tatoyan, has started proceedings on their own initiative.
Clarifications on these
issues will be required through official inquires addressed to the Public
Television, the Council of Public Broadcaster, and the Commission on the
Television and Radio of Armenia. The issues will be substantiated from the
point of view of the Constitution of Armenia, the RA Law on Audiovisual Media,
the Charter of the Council of Public Broadcaster and a number of other legal
acts. At the same time, formal communication will be initiated with relevant
Meanwhile, the Human
Rights Defender of Armenia demands to the activities of the Defender provide
proper and objective coverage.
We would like to
especially inform you that the Human Rights Defender has already personally
talked to the heads of a number of international and intergovernmental
non-governmental organizations, presented the concerning situation, and as
agreed the results of the monitoring activities will be translated and sent to
them together with this statement.
These issues will be
under the immediate attention of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia
we are publishing the
results of study in order to make visible to the public that the public
coverage policy of the Public Television established by the Government of
Armenia, which ignores the activities of the Defender and violates the
Constitution and the legislation of Armenia:
Mr. Arman Tatoyan
The Human Rights Defender