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Plaintiffs Come To Court in Masks: Protesting Hate Spreading Newspaper (VIDEO)

The Court of Appeals heard the appeal in the case of “16 citizens vs. Iravunk daily.” yesterday, February 18. The Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts had rejected the citizens' demand that the paper publish an apology and compensate them with 5 million drams for sully, slander, and hate speech spread through a published article.

Iravunk daily’s editor-in-chief Hovhannes Galajyan’s scandalous article “They serve the interests of international homo-addiction [sic] lobbying: the blacklist of the country’s and nation’s enemies”, presented a “blacklist” consisting of 60 individuals' names with their facebook profile links, calling for people to show “zero tolerance” towards them, deny employment, fire them from civil service jobs, etc. 

The defender of the 16 citizens’ interest Nvard Piliposyan motioned to the Court of Appeals to include as evidence the Ombudsman Karen Andreasyan's assessment of the case, PACE’s statement, as well as the opinion of the Information Disputes Council. The three statements have condemned Iravunk daily for making calls of hate and have criticized the fact that the court has left the insulter unpunished.

The court refused to include the material as evidence in the case because the Court of First Instance had not expressed a position on them. Piliposyan noted that it was not possible to present that material in the Court of First Instance, because they were published after the verdict.

Iravunk daily’s lawyer Levon Baghdasaryan said that their side did not wish to respond to the suit. He only motioned to the court that all the plaintiffs each compensate 9,000AMD for covering the defendant's lawyer's costs.


Baghdasaryan had made a similar demand during the Court of First Instance trial. The latter court had made a decision in favor of the paper and handed a verdict making it mandatory for the plaintiffs to pay 35,000 AMD each for compensating the daily’s lawyer costs.


Note, that a few of the plaintiffs and their supporters came to the hearing wearing masks. One of the masked citizens, Anna Shahnazaryan, told Epress.am that the Armenian courts were wearing masks, forgetting about their authority, mocking the legislation of the Republic of Armenia and its citizens.

“Today, we wanted to show the side we see every time,” noted Shahnazaryan.