Armenian opposition MP Gegham Manukyan has denounced “disgraceful” threats to send journalists to the border for combat duty.
“Disrespectful treatment of reporters, especially by pro-government lawmakers and officials, has recently become widespread,” Manukyan, who represents the opposition Hayastan alliance, told a news briefing on Thursday.
His comments came in response to the statement of ruling Civil Contract faction MP Andranik Kocharyan who complained about the journalists trying to ask questions to Defense Minister Suren Papikyan in the parliament corridor on Wednesday, comparing them to the “Great Wall of China”.
Implying that there were a lot of young men among the media workers, including cameramen, he said they, too, would be involved in 25-day military trainings along with all men liable for military service, adding “thus the Great Wall of China will disappear.”
“Journalists are now threatened to be sent to the border as if it is a concentration camp,” Manukyan said, also accusing the NGOs defending freedom of speech of remaining silent to the threats.
“As a former reporter, I urge you all to stand up for your rights. This has to stop, otherwise we will witness much more disgraceful treatment in the future,” said the opposition MP.