Criminalization of slander and insult will inevitably affect freedom of the press, while the size of the fine and deprivation of liberty established by the draft will even cast doubt upon the activity and freedom of speech of mass media.
HCA Vanadzor presented its position on the draft Law “On making an amendment and addendum to the RA Criminal Code” placed for public discussion on e-draft.am.
The Draft suggests supplementing the RA Criminal Code with Article 3171 :
“Article 3171. Insulting or slandering a person in public service:
1․Insulting or slandering a public servant in connection with his/her performance of official duties is punished by a fine in the amount of one hundred to five hundred times the minimum wage.
2․The same act committed by the mass media or other public means in connection with the performance of a public servant’s official duties shall be punished by a fine of 500 to 3,000 times the minimum wage or imprisonment for a maximum of 2 years”.
HCA Vanadzor evaluated the compliance of the Draft with international legal principles of proportionality, legal certainty, everyone’s equality before the law, legality of the aim pursued and necessity in a democratic society; and expressed the position that the Draft contradicts the above-mentioned principles.
You can read the details HERE
The position is also presented on e-draft.am.