Saturday, November 22, 2003

Yervand Zakharyan denies access to public information

Every citizen of Armenia has the right to become acquainted with the decisions taken by the mayor of Yerevan. These decisions are open documents and must be accessible to everyone including journalists. On October 2, 2003 we sent a letter to Mayor Yervand Zakharyan requesting permission to look at the decisions regarding land allocations for café in the vicinity of the Yerevan Opera House taken from 1997 to 2003 by former mayors Vano Siradegyan, Suren Abrahamyan, Albert Bazeyan and Robert Nazaryan.

It took the mayor's chief of staff, Samvel Koshetsyan, forty days to leave the following message with the mayor's secretary: "In response to your letter addressed to the Mayor's office I would like to inform you that you should specify the exact kind of information you intend to receive from the Yerevan Mayor's Office".

In fact, every decision we requested had been taken from the archive, Xeroxed, and given to the mayor. We will try to find out why Yervand Zakharyan avoids providing us with texts of his predecessors' decisions. And we will continue our series "We Know Who the Owners Are."

Starting next week, we will introduce the real owners of plots in Oghakadzev (Circle) Park and the public park near Babayan Street as well. As to the information we requested from the mayor's office, we have been forced to go to court for it.

Edik Baghdasaryan

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