15 November 2022
In our previous issue (Nov. 10), we published the “Դաշնակցական կոչ” letter which had been in circulation through individual emails and was brought to our attention. Regrettably, most of the comments sent to Keghart.org about the letter dealt with peripheral issues instead of confronting the important concerns raised in the document.
It is disingenuous, as one commentator characterized, to summarily dismiss a document because it’s not signed. Equally disingenuous is to lecture about journalistic integrity and that we are unaware of journalistic ethics. Rules are not holy writ: there are occasions when breaking the rules is the sound thing to do.
In an ideal world, where freedom of speech is respected by all, people would not conceal their names when expressing an opinion. Unfortunately, anyone who has followed Armenian political culture knows that ostracism, intimidation, threats, harsh retribution and ultimately violence are part of our history and continue to be so in the Diaspora and in Republic of Armenia. A former president set a despicable example of the abhorrent tradition.
It is unconscionable to willfully ignore the above reality and demand the names of the people who wrote the letter to render “credibility” to the document. How can one push under the rug what happened to the former director of Tufenkian Foundation Raffi Dudaklian, a respected intellectual who was assaulted in Beirut and had to be transported to a hospital after sustaining multiple injuries? Have these commentators also forgotten the shock that law-abiding people experienced when Hetq.am chief-editor Edik Baghdasaryan was brutally beaten by assailants in Yerevan? It’s crystal-clear that dissenters are not protected in our Armenian society. It’s unjust to demand that rank-and-file people reveal their names when intimidation and even terror are possible consequences.
In civilized jurisdictions there are rules and laws that protect the anonymity of vulnerable informers. Keghart.org, which operates under Keghart Media Corp registered in Ontario, Canada, respects and follows such guidelines.
Potentially consequential articles are published in Keghart.org following a meticulous review by the editorial team, the editor-in-chief and the publisher. The decision to publish this specific document went through rigorous debate by all.
Keghart.org is an independent media outlet. It reserves the right to publish whatever its team considers relevant to public interest and is in line with its mission. Internal party squabbles have no place in Keghart.org unless they deal with issues that transcend narrow politics and are of concern to the community.
We hope readers will review the document and the serious allegations levelled against the leadership of the party under discussion. In our assessment the allegations are in line with reality. While the party’s shortcomings have been known for a long time, airing them has been a taboo.