2019.12.16,

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Fake News That Was Circulated And Refuted Between December 1-15

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Karine Ghazaryan

Journalist, semiotician-to-be

In the first half of December, the Armenian press was discussing the visit of Arab sheiks to Yerevan, accusing soccer referee Pierluigi Collina of illegally adopting a child from Armenia and calculating the budget for the New Year’s events.

Pierluigi Collina did not adopt a child from Armenia illegally

On December 5, Zhoghovurd Daily wrote that they were able to reveal, based on the tracks left behind NSS reports on illegal adoptions by foreigner citizens,  that one of the children had been adopted by world-renowned soccer referee Pierluigi.

The newspaper did not specify how this was discovered and what evidence it had. The material was similarly reprinted by Zham.am, Tert.am, News.am and a number of other sites.

The Ministry of Justice denied the news. Calling on all not to disseminate misinformation, the ministry also added that if the secret of adoption is disclosed contrary to the will of the adopter, it provides for criminal liability.

Collina also touched on the information, noting that he was “stunned” by the news and that he and his wife had never planned to adopt a child.

Sheiks in Armenia: Gagik Tsarukyan and his colleagues give false information

In early December, the media was actively discussing the meeting of Arab Sheiks and Mayor Hayk Marutyan.

Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukyan announced that the municipality had expelled billionaire foreign investors by interrupting their meeting with them.

According to Tsarukyan, investors, including Sheikhs of the United Arab Emirates, wanted to build two hotels and a charitable hospital in Yerevan, but their representatives came out of the meeting with the mayor disappointedly and the investments were “frozen.”

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan defended Marutyan at the National Assembly, noting that investors came to the meeting in jeans and talked on the phone several times during the meeting, showing disrespect.

Tsarukyan countered that the caller was a very important man, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, who was in Armenia at the time.

Later it turned out that Jaber Al Marzouqi, a partner of Gagik Tsarukyan and the director of Euromotors, was present at the meeting. Tsarukyan has a stake in Euromotors. Euromotors is owned by the Arab Princess Group, owned by Al Marzouqi’s brother.

Jaber Al Marzouqi also announced that Abu Dhabi’s crown prince was in Armenia during those days and that he had been the one calling them (his words were translated on Tsarukyan’s “Kentron” television channel).

But the UAE Embassy denied both Tsarukyan’s and Al Marzouqi’s statements, noting that the crown prince had never been to Armenia.

The NA deputy did not receive an instruction from Pashinyan

“Hraparak” newspaper wrote that Pashinyan “instructed” MP Hamazasp Danielyan to submit the new drafts of the parties and the Electoral Code to the NA by the end of the year.

The paper also insisted that Pashinyan intends to change the system of governance by making the country semi-presidential.

In an interview with 168 Hours, Hamazasp Danielyan refuted the allegations, saying that the timing of the new laws had been publicly announced and that the media was trying to present transparent information as confidential.

The article is not available on the Hraparak website.

548 million AMD will not be spent on New Year’s Eve

Antifake.am has published false information that the budget for New Year events is 548 million AMD. Member of the Luys faction council, Tehmina Vardanyan, insisted that the municipality allocated 525 million AMD.

The Fact-Checking Platform referred to the amount of money allocated for organizing New Year’s events, noting that it totaled about 424 million AMD.

This amount includes 54 million AMD from the community budget for major events, about 84 million AMD for district lighting and public events, 15 million AMD for administrative staff corporate New Year events, and about 271 million AMD of additional expenditures for the first time this year from the state budget.

Marina Khachatryan’s announcement was groundless

Back in November, former council member Marina Khachatryan stated that “women living in homes in Gyumri sell their children to Turks with tears in their eyes.”

Police carried out inspections on the statement. On December 6, Gyumri police reported that no information was obtained on any such an incident.

Marina Khachatryan confessed to police that no citizen had alerted her, she had no information on victims and that she had made the announcement based on news floating in the air

There are inaccuracies in Lapshin’s post on ecology

Blogger Aleksander Lapshin wrote a post about Armenia’s poor ecological status, noting that Yerevan is among the 10 most polluted cities in the world.

Lapshin’s post was reprinted by News.am, 168 Hours and other news outlets.

The information on Yerevan’s pollution is incorrect: the capital of Armenia is not one of the 50 most polluted cities in the world.

Lapshin’s record also contained other inaccuracies. For example, he noted that there are 20-30,000 new cases of heart attacks in Armenia annually. However, according to the Ministry of Health, this number is significantly lower.

There have been no arrests in the wiretapping case

On December 5, Politik.am reported that the suspect in the wiretapping of former NSS chief Arthur Vanetsyan and SIS chief Sasun Khachatryan had been arrested months earlier. The outlet added that the detainee is a citizen of Russia and a Russian by nationality.

The news was false. The investigators refuted the information, saying there were no arrests in the criminal case.

The investigating president did not call the prosecutors a “stool”

On December 10, Zhamanak Daily wrote that Hayk Grigoryan, the chairman of the Investigative Committee, called prosecutors “stool.”

The article was reprinted by several websites, cited in an article published on Irates.am.

On the same day, the Investigator denied the news. By the way, the news has 4909 and the retraction – 630 views.

Armenia did not discuss the step by step settlement of the conflict

On December 4, the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan took place in Bratislava. After the meeting, Elmar Mammadyarov stated that the Armenian side included the “Lavrov Plan” in their presentation during the talks, which implies a step-by-step solution to the conflict.

The phased version envisages the withdrawal of Armenian troops and the return of the Azerbaijani population to Artsakh, and then only the determination of the status of Artsakh. This option is preferable for the Azerbaijani side.

Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan refuted Mammadyarov’s statement. She noted that at the moment there is no document on the table.

WizzAir destinations are not yet known

On December 15, it was reported that starting January, WizzAir will operate direct flights from Gyumri to Paris and London.

Tatevik Revazyan, head of the Civil Aviation Committee, denied the news. She noted that the airline will make an official announcement on the flight directions later.

At a joint news conference with WizzAir’s representative on December 16, Revazyan announced that the flights will start in spring and will operate to Vienna and Vilnius.

Karine Ghazaryan


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