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Tuesday, 18 March 2008

SOS for GALA TV and freedom of speech in Armenia

On March 19 at 9:00 a.m. a telethon will start to raise money in support of GALA TV [Unzipped - GALA TV is the only independent TV station in Gyumri, or perhaps in the whole Armenia, faces imminent closure for 'technical reasons']. The same day at 4:00 p.m. the Administrative Court of Gyumri will pass a ruling under the case “Tax Service vs. CHAP Ltd”, the founder of GALA TV.

The Tax Service claims AMD 25,665,000 as a penalty and, if the court passes a ruling in favor of the Tax Service (which is very much likely to happen), this amount needs to be paid immediately or the property of the company will be confiscated, and GALA TV will lose its broadcasting license. The telethon will be aired on GALA TV in Shirak Province, Armenia.

Below is the account information for bank transfers at the UNIBANK, Gyumri Branch:

AMD account – 241031012610 (can accept donations in AMD, $, € within Armenia) Beneficiary: Vahan Khachatryan (GALA TV Director)

USD account – 241031112618 (can accept donations from outside of Armenia)
Beneficiary: Vahan Khachatryan (GALA TV Director)

For donations in cash please visit the office of GALA TV in Gyumri at V. Sargsyan 4/1, tel: +374-312-31819, -31889, Vahan Khachatryan (GALA TV Director) at tel: +374-91-435563.

For additional information please contact Levon Barseghyan (“Asparez” Journalists Club) at tel.: +374-91-821363 or e-mail: levon@asparez.am.
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ՓՐԿԵ’ՆՔ “ԳԱԼԱ” ՀԸ-ը ԵՎ ԽՈՍՔԻ ԱԶԱՏՈՒԹՅՈՒՆԸ ՀԱՅԱՍՏԱՆՈՒՄ:

Մարտի 19-ին, ժամը 9:00 կմեկնարկի հեռուստամարաթոն, որի նպատակն է հանգանակություն հավաքել` "ԳԱԼԱ" հեռուստաընկերությանն աջակցելու նպատակով: Նույն օրը, ժամը 16:00-ին Գյումրիի վարչական դատարանը պետք է որոշում կայացնի "ԳԱԼԱ" հեռուստաընկերության հիմնադիր "ՉԱՊ" ՍՊԸ-ի դեմ հարկային պետական ծառայության կողմից հարուցված գործի վերաբերյալ:

Հարկային պետական ծառայությունը որպես տույժ պահանջում է 25,665,000 ՀՀ դրամ և, եթե որոշումն ընդունվի ի նպաստ հարկային պետական ծառայության (որն ամենայն հավանականությամբ այդպես էլ կլինի), ապա այդ գումարը պետք է անմիջապես վճարվի: Այլապես, ընկերության գույքը կբռնագրավվի, և "ԳԱԼԱ" հեռուստաընկերությունը կզրկվի հեռարձակման արտոնագրից: Հեռուստամարաթոնը կհեռարձակվի "ԳԱԼԱ" հեռուստաընկերությամբ Շիրակի մարզում:

Ստորև նշված են բանկային փոխանցման հաշվեհամարները ՅՈՒՆԻԲԱՆԿԻ Գյումրիի մասնաճյուղում.

Դրամային հաշիվ` 241031012610 (ընդունվում են հանգանակություններ Հայաստանից)
Շահառու` Վահան Խաչատրյան (“ԳԱԼԱ” ՀԸ տնօրեն)

Դոլլարային հաշիվ` 241031112618 (ընդունվում են հանգանակություններ արտասահմանից)
Շահառու` Վահան Խաչատրյան (“ԳԱԼԱ” ՀԸ տնօրեն)

Կանխիկ հատկացումների համար խնդրում ենք այցելել "ԳԱԼԱ" հեռուստաընկերության գրասենյակ`Գյումրի, Վ. Սարգսյան 4/1 հասցեում, կամ զանգահարել Վահան Խաչատրյանին (“ԳԱԼԱ” ՀԸ տնօրեն) +374-91-435563, +374-312-31819, -31889 հեռախոսահամարներով:

Լրացուցիչ տեղեկությունների համար դիմեք Լևոն Բարսեղյանին (“Ասպարեզ” լրագրողների ակումբ) `+374-91-821363 հեռախոսահամարով կամ levon@asparez.am էլ-փոտով:

5 comments:

Libertarian said...

iz it pozzible to zet up zomething with PayPal for eazy money gathering from Diazpora??? Maybe zomething like a ChipIn widget.

By the way, we're launching Tondrak.com soon. It' ztill in Alpha, but it workz: it'z a mix between Indymedia, Citizen Journalizm, WikiNewz & Digg.com

regartz
Garen
from http://azat.wordpress.com

reading_is_dangerous said...

That's over $85,000! -- equivalent to two good SUVs?

artmika said...

I know, PayPal would have been the best way from abroad.

Garen, could you please contact Levon Barseghyan (“Asparez” Journalists Club) at tel.: +374-91-821363 or e-mail: levon@asparez.am to suggest PayPal, although am not sure if they'll manage to organise it since no much time left. I will try to contact others too.

P.S. good to know about your plans. keep posted.

artmika said...

GALA TV 'WON'!!! - well, for now at least - new challenges ahead.

via RFE/RL

A provincial television station that has crossed swords with the Armenian authorities announced on Tuesday the successful end of a week-long fund-raising campaign that has enabled it to pay a heavy government fine and avoid immediate closure.

The private GALA channel, which is based in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri, began a non-stop telethon last Wednesday as it was controversially fined almost 27 million drams ($87.7) for allegedly evading taxes. It has since managed to raise 26.5 million drams from viewers and other sympathizers and pay the bulk of the fine in several installments.

Justice Ministry bailiffs visited the GALA office late in the afternoon to collect the final major installment. They said the TV station still owes the state about 442,000 drams and pledged pay the remainder on Wednesday.

According to telethon organizers’ estimates, about 10,000 residents of Gyumri and other parts of Armenia have contributed cash to the embattled broadcaster. “Participation has been incredible. It has gone beyond our expectations,” said Levon Barseghian, the chairman of Gyumri’s Asparez Journalists Club who has been actively involved in the fund-raiser.

“Twenty-five percent of people and organizations who have taken part in the fund raising have never watched GALA,” Barseghian told RFE/RL. “We have taught Armenia’s ruling regime a lesson. At least, I hope we have. And I hope they will reconsider their behavior vis-à-vis mass media,” he said.

Like GALA’s owner, Asparez and other Armenia media and civil rights groups believe that the tax fraud case was brought against the small broadcaster in retaliation for its decision last October to provide airtime to Levon Ter-Petrosian, the country’s former president and top opposition leader. But local authorities and the State Tax Service deny any political motives behind the punitive action.

Virtually all other TV stations, including the Yerevan-based major networks, are loyal to or controlled by the country’s leadership. The only national station that regularly aired criticism of the government was controversially pulled off the air in 2002.

Despite the payment of the fine, GALA’s continued broadcasts remain in question. Its owner, Vahan Khachatrian, claims to have received no advertising orders since last fall.

GALA has also been accused by the Gyumri mayor’s office of illegally using the local television tower to air its programs to the city and surrounding areas. Late last month a Gyumri court allowed the local government to remove GALA’s transmitter from the facility. The ruling was not immediately enforced because the TV company challenged it at Armenia’s Court of Appeals. The latter has yet to start hearings on the appeal.

parisan said...

//It has since managed to raise 26.5 million drams from viewers and other sympathizers and pay the bulk of the fine in several installments.
//

this feels so good to read.

//GALA’s continued broadcasts remain in question. Its owner, Vahan Khachatrian, claims to have received no advertising orders since last fall. //

this is depressing. Are people afraid that much? It means a lot.