FOICA On Facebook

FOICA on Youtube

Interview with founding president of Freedom of Information Center of Armenia Shushan Doydoyan

– On a scale of 10 how would You rate freedom of information in Armenia in 2011?

Sh.D.- During the year of 2011 Freedom of Information Center of Armenia came up with numerous innovative initiatives in the freedom of information sphere. Particularly, the websites of all the ARM Regional Administrations and the ARM Ministry of Territorial Administration were modernized, and monitoring web project was launched. During the year in the Freedom of Information Non-Formal Educational Center our experts trained 340 civil and public servants on the freedom of information issues. Meanwhile, the FOICA has filed new court cases against those authorities, which have violated our access to information right. So, there still is enormous work to be done towards the development of the sphere. Hence, I would rate it 7 on a scale of 10.

– 2012 is a year of elections. What do You think, what role will the freedom of speech have in mass media?

Sh.D.- 2012 will really be a challenging year for mass media outlets. Unfortunately, in today’s media sphere there is a special treatment for certain politicians and institutions – both negative and positive. In my opinion these attitudes will be more deeply felt especially in the pre-election period. The freedom of speech will more often be violated, and particularly the number of court cases against the press will increase. Self-censorship will increase even more among media outlets.

– The online media in our country have been rather broadened in the recent years. What do You think, will online media be able to change anything in this election year, and in general, what impact will they have?

Sh.D.- In this election year online media will play a significant role. They are more independent in their publications, more unrestricted, however, at the same time, freedom of speech abuses are more obvious and oftener here, because of the uncontrollability of their speech. However, the online media will provide platforms for free and unbiased political alternative speech.

– What is the tendency? Does freedom of information undergo progress or regress from year to year?

Sh.D.-Indeed, freedom of information is progressing. From year to year the government system is becoming more and more transparent and public, and an e-government system has already been installed. However, this year we carried out a large-scaled monitoring, which showed that 30% of information requests remain unanswered. This is a very alarming indicator. Of course, the guilty receive very strict public criticism, they appear in courts as a result of the court cases that we file, and they provide the information in courts.



Skip to content