This is a short post, but I really want to write more about the stifling of the media in Armenia. While Armenia has made progress by decriminalizing slander (a.k.a. journalists can’t be thrown in jail now), a single slander suit may still be enough to freeze operations of a whole newspaper.
A court has frozen three million AMD worth of Zhoghovourd newspaper’s property because of a slander suit from a poultry farm owner. This amount ($7,500 USD or 25x an average monthly salary) may be enough to halt operations of the media. While, the concept of slander suits are fine, the way they could be used to silence the media is terrible, especially before the newspaper is found guilty.
I’m going to write more about this issue, especially because I fear that this blog could get me in trouble if I ever keep a lot of assets in Armenia.
To the amount allowed under Armenian and international law, this blog is within the jurisdiction of the United States and is applicable to the laws of the United States and the state of New York.