IFJ says Armenia authorities must allow journalists to cover parliament debates

Panarmenian – The International Federation of Journalists has weighed in on a recent incident which saw new security measures in the Armenian parliament curtail the work of journalists, who were prohibited from interviewing deputies as they exited the parliamentary chamber by officers from the State Protection Service guarding the hallway.

“Journalists were denied access to the Parliament’s first session,” the IFJ said on Twitter.

“Authorities must allow journalists to cover the debates and abolish the new rules that require special permission to enter the chamber or interview deputies.”

On August 3, parliament speaker Alen Simonyan announced that he signed a decision amending the National Assembly security rules. All deputies will undergo inspections before entering certain areas of the National Assembly that have been denoted “controlled working zones,” while journalists will no longer be allowed to enter the chamber without special permission or interview deputies in the hallway; instead, deputies will provide briefings to accredited journalists after parliamentary sittings in a designated chamber.

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