Authorities’ demand to reveal the source of information is pressure exerted on the media and information source, says lawyer Ara Ghazaryan.
“Since the revelation can have a cooling effect on news sources and they will become passive or go underground for fear of being detected, decried or blackmailed. In the result, less information will be available to the public,” he says.
Recently, Hraparak daily and ilur.am website were forced to reveal the source of their information about a police officer’s illegal actions addressed to wrestler Artur Aleksanyan and his brother Rafayel Aseksanyan. It came after they published information that Shirak Police Chief Vardan Nadaryan had attacked the wrestler and his brother. Vardan Nadaryan later refuted the reports saying they were false.
On June 26, a Yerevan court forced the media outlets to reveal the source of their information about the incident.
“Roughly speaking, they are demonstrating criminal conduct alleging that they want to disclose their stool pigeons,” says Kristine Khanumyan, Editor-in-chief of ilur.am.
“”By law, the source can be revealed when it refers to a grave crime or national security-related matters,” added Armine Ohanyan, Chief Editor of Hraparak daily.
They find that the court threatens a right to defend the information source and have already turned to the Appeals Court with a complaint.