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“Who is Gagik Buniatyan to Speak For Yezidis?” – Counter Statement

A representative of Armenia’s Yezidi Community Rustam Bakoyan has expressed his dissatisfaction with National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR) President Gagik Buniatyan’s (pictured) statement made yesterday in the National Assembly. In a counter response, Bakoyan stressed that Buniatyan did not have the right to speak for the Yezidi community. Yesterday, responding to HAK faction MP Nikol Pashinyan’s remark as to why Armenian television stations show films in Russian but not in the languages of other national minorities, Buniatyan stated the latter absence was due to the lack of demand.

“I don’t understand, who is Gagik Buniatyan to speak on behalf of Yezidis and other national minorities living in Armenia and make spineless statements such as there is no demand for programs in these languages. Honorable NCTR President, let me inform you that there are 60,000 Yezidis in Armenia, when have you ever asked the opinion of those 60,000 people to have come to such a conclusion?

I say this on behalf of myself and all Yezidis, that we, as residents of the Republic of Armenia, as Armenian citizens, have always wished and in some ways, we demand, that Armenian television stations provide time for Yezidi broadcasts, so in case of an opportunity, you don’t state that there is no demand.

Let me inform you that according to article 28 of the Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting, public television stations could provide time in the languages of the Republic of Armenia’s national minorities with special programs or broadcasts. The general number of hours for such broadcasts should not exceed one hour per week for television, and one hour per day for radio broadcasts,” writes Bakoyan.