by Marianna Mkrtchyan
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic today expressed concern about a court ruling in Armenia that forces media outlets to disclose their sources of information.
On 26 June the Administrative Court of the Kentron and Nork-Marash districts in Yerevan ruled that two media outlets, the Hraparak newspaper and Ilur.am news portal, should disclose their sources as part of the criminal investigation involving a high-level police official of the Shirak region.
"I am concerned that this ruling might have a chilling effect on media as it could thwart reporting on issues of public interest," Mijatovic said. "The need for journalists' professional confidentiality with public and private sources of information must be acknowledged."
She noted that the right of journalists to protect the identity of sources is a key principle of investigative journalism and has repeatedly been declared as a basic requirement for freedom of expression by the OSCE.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments.