September 28, 2021 - 18:29 AMT
Freedom House slams Armenia’s “unconstitutional” anti-defamation law

Freedom House has expressed concern about the recent criminal case opened against a Facebook user who insulted Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a comment.

“This comes only two months after the Parliament passed amendments criminalizing “serious insults” against government officials, and signifies a clear degradation of democratic norms in Armenia, including freedom of expression,” the organization said on Tuesday, September 28.

“We call on the Armenian authorities to immediately cease enforcement of this unconstitutional legislation criminalizing defamation.”

Authorities in Armenia are investigating a case against a social media user for insulting Pashinyan in a comment under a photo featuring the Prime Minister. Police say the alleged perpetrator has violated Article 137.1 of the country’s Criminal Code. The offense is punishable by a fine in the amount of AMD 3,000,000 ($6,000) or a three-month prison term.