Statement on media

On March 2, following the day of announcing a state of emergency in Yerevan, the employees of National Security Service (NSS) visited editorial offices of newspapers and presented a short letter, without a signature and a seal, warning that the activities of newspapers would be suspended if the newspaper publications contained information that was different from the official information. On the same night, the materials of newspapers taken to the printing house were checked in detail by NSS employees, and there was a verbal instruction to prohibit the printing.

Taking into consideration that the information called official is at least one-sided and does not reflect the whole picture, being continuously broadcast by about a dozen TV channels, certain newspapers simply decided not to get published, and the others turned up in a forced idle time.

This becomes a basis for us to announce that the RA authorities have just prohibited the activities of the media that are undesirable for them, especially when the demand to publish exclusively official information has not in the least concerned “their own” media that are being published in the conditions of state of emergency.

To make the information terror complete, Internet web sites have also been blocked. Moreover, advertising is being broadcast instead of the CNN and Euronews newscasts covering the events in Armenia. The broadcasting of Liberty radio station was totally suspended.

We announce that all these things not only do not contribute to toning down the tension existing in the public but also deepen the atmosphere of hatred and hostility. The overwhelming majority of the media spreading information that is called official and, especially, the press speakers with their aggression just contribute to igniting unhealthy moods and deepening the mistrust in the government.

In the created situation, our constitutional right to spread and receive information has been violated; the universally-acknowledged principles of freedom of speech and the press freedom have been infringed; the media sustain material losses; censorship is being implemented in Armenia, and our country has turned up in a complete informational blockade.

A1+ chairman
Aravot daily newspaper editor-in-chief
Yerevan Press Club president
Zhamanak Yerevan daily newspaper editor-in-chief
Internews managing director
Haykakan Zhamanak daily newspaper deputy editor-in-chief
Hayk daily newspaper editor-in-chief
Lragir web site editor-in-chief
168 Zham newspaper editor-in-chief
Hetk online newspaper editor-in-chief
Hraparak daily newspaper editor-in-chief
Chorrord Ishkhanutyun newspaper editor-in-chief
Taregir newspaper editor-in-chief
ArmeniaNow online magazine editor

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43 thoughts on “Statement on media

  1. We announce that all these things not only do not contribute to toning down the tension existing in the public but also deepen the atmosphere of hatred and hostility.

    While I don’t like the restrictions on the media or this state of emergency situation — indeed, I think it could be ended now — it has to be said that some of those newspapers signing the letter would have actually contributed to increasing tensions, hatred and hostility. Namely, those publications and outlets linked to Ter-Petrossian e.g. Zhamanak Yerevan, Haykakan Zhamanak, Chorrord Ishkhanutyun and to a lesser extent, A1 Plus especially.

    Indeed, one can even suppose that they would actually seek to do that. In fact, it’s been their trademark as well as their purpose rather than report the news.

  2. Pingback: Armenia Election Monitor 2008 » Blog Archive » War of Words in Armenia

  3. It is very simple:

    If they ever allow the newspapers
    Zhamanak Yerevan, Haykakan Zhamanak, Chorrord Ishxanutyun, A1plus, Taregir and 168 zham and Hayq to reopen (

    for each lie and misinformation that they print they should pay $10,000. and the fines collected should go to the family of the hero police officer slain by the protesters Let’s see who will spread lies again

  4. Mr. Onnik,
    ANY paper may print their vision and opinions of events, that’s called freedom of press. It’s up to PEOPLE to decide if the paper is worth reading or not. If people don’t think a paper is true they will just stop buying it. It is not up to you to play God and decide what is news what’s not. Stop acting like you know shit!

  5. HiRebelik jan,

    You and other LTP bitches use the word PEOPLE as if it is bubble gum. Those days are over, the days of lying and getting away with it.

    Whoever spreads lies must be sued and punished in criminal court. By the way, What happened to the 10 year old kid who was supposed to have been killed by the police?
    Liars!

    Your end is coming slowly but surely. Will you have tears in your eyes when LTP is also jailed?

  6. HiRebel,

    Kuzes Miyasnikyan-i ardsani mot handipenk mi qich latsatsnem qez? hihihi

  7. Listen you motherfucker, I don’t care about LTP a bit, but I care about crashing slaves like you. Ha kuzem, aj bozi txa, ari Myasnikyani ardzani mot, tenanq ov um klacacni. Chmoranas mentiknerid hetd beres, ay gondon!

  8. Actual HiRebel – Here are a few pieces from the Criminal Code that may interest you (and LTP, Pashinyan, et al who wrap themselves around democracy, when convenient):

    from the RA Electoral Code:
    During pre-election campaign, it shall be prohibited to advocate violence, war or the
    overthrowing of constitutional order by force, to incite national, racial or religious hatred, as well as to publish or disseminate materials causing racial, national or religious hatred.

    from the RA Criminal Code:

    Article 63. Circumstances aggravating the liability and punishment.
    1. Circumstances aggravating the liability and punishment are as follows: 6) committal of crime by ethnic, racial or religious motives, for religious fanaticism, as revenge for other people’s legitimate actions;

    Article 47
    Everyone shall be obliged to honor the Constitutions and laws, to respect the rights, freedoms and dignity of others.
    The exercise of the rights and freedoms with the purpose of overthrow of the constitutional order, incitement to national, racial and religious hatred, propaganda of violence or warfare shall be prohibited.

    I could go on and on…I hope LTP has a gooood lawyer!!!

  9. Hi Rebel, Miasnikyan-i ardsani mot yekogh shabat lav kef kanenk andsyal-e kmoranank mi qich k hishes MArt-i 1-i, lac klines, amen inch lav klini, ha aper-s? Ed Levonik,slave yevayln moraci mi gorc kti lav klini

  10. AH,
    Same note to you, this is the 10th time I am noting that I don’t give a rat’s ass about LTP, let him go and rot in prison. But this is for what he did while he was president not for how he handled the protests. I actually was at the rallies and not once he called for overthrowing the government, on the contrary he and his aids were at pains to contain people’s anger and whenever we were marching close to the police they would say to clap and joyfully greet the police. If you were not there or just blindly believe the H1 lies JUST CUT THE CRAP!

  11. Hayrenaserik, es nenc gorts unem, vor du kjanqumd ches kara unenas.
    Myasnikani momentov el, iharke, crir takd, bozi txa…

  12. Guys – HiRebel, Hayrenaser – please stop this unproper words and threats to meet, etc. I don’t think you’ll help anyone by beating each other. Enough is enough!

  13. But HiRebel, you see, for me this is about LTP. And everyone else who brought our country to this crisis. And in this group I include the authorities for 1) promoting HHSh ideology as a viable philosophy years after it should have been discredited 2) tolerating the abuse by LTP of Armenia’s fledgling democratic system to the point of fracture,

    Calling for revolution for weeks (pls don’t hide behind the lies of “containing peoples’ anger”). This was anger fueled and stoked and exacerbated at every turn, willfully and with dancing pleasure by meglomaniac LTP and psychotic Pashinyan.

    I am just trying to give LTP’s legal team a head start on what they should be facing.

  14. ANY paper may print their vision and opinions of events

    Sure they can, but don’t dress their inability to do so as contributing to not “toning down the tension existing in the public but also deepen the atmosphere of hatred and hostility.”

    For sure, we know that those outlets would instead try to aggravate the situation and bring the country closer to clashes.

    However, I agree, such behavior should probably be dealt with by relevant sections of the criminal code.

    Nobody is against freedom of speech, but everything has its limits and that includes libel, misinformation and promoting hatred which leads to violence.

    Same goes for the government media too.

  15. All this shows that we as people do not deserve to be free, we are gypsies, should be (and always have been) treated as gypsies and will vanish as gypsies.
    This forum is dead, see you in hell…

  16. HiRebel, not at all. It’s just that we’re seeing that there are many opinions which is good for democracy. What seems more the problem is that you appear only to like “discussions” when everybody agrees with your viewpoint.

    Besides, it was your circle that started using offensive words and making attacks first. Nevertheless, that doesn’t justify any similar responses, in my opinion. In the interest of facilitating real discussion on issues we should have dealt with long ago, can’t we all just argue rationally?

    Yes, I know, emotions are high, but the matter is now to ease tensions and not provoke them. Just an idea.

  17. Sorry HiRebel – I don’t need your declaration or judgment on what Armenians deserve. As frustrated a position as we are in now, I see hope. The housecleaning and challenge to society have been a long time coming, and even though the road has been rocky, I am optimistic. Real change takes time and persistence.

  18. Sasoon Michaelian has been arrrested! Four more criminals to go!! Levon, Nikol, Krzo, Aram.

  19. I have a question to all of you:
    1. PublicTV and the rest of progov media started anti-LTP campaign since he ever start in Mariott. So does this help to spread peace and relaxing pre-election atmosphere when all media (except ErkirMedia) starts active soviet-style propoganda against one candidate? I think what it did is simply bring more interest to LTP, so people start coming to his rallies to get their own impression.
    2. Next, i am sure we do all agree that elections was rigged. Why we are talking about LTP here if what people was stand for is their vote? So what do you think what future we deserve? We can continue talking about LTP and how bad he is or was in 1996, but seems it doesnt help to justify this elections as elections.
    3. Yesterday i’ve saw on tv that some psychologists were telling that LTP was using NLP. What do you think is that quality of political speachmaking here is so low that anybody who can talk on a proper native language more than an hour should be stated as magician? To me it looks that if that psychologists would see Obama they will cast him as a voodoo master.
    Thanks a lot!

  20. Mathisking, your first point is valid and I agree, well, to a certain extent. I mean, if there is something bad about any of the candidates which is important enough to report it should be. However, what matters is that the approach is equal for all candidates and not selectively applied.

    Point two is a little more complex because a) nobody other than his supporters believe Levon won (instead, it is more likely that Serge gained more votes but inflated them enough through different methods to avoid a second round. The controversy comes in not being able to know who would have won a second vote and that’s either unknown or based upon your own personal political preferences).

    Point three is also quite controversial, but there is some truth in saying that a charismatic speaker can control an audience. Indeed, it’s been said of most charismatic speakers in the world of politics since such things ever occurred. Still, that’s a style that most powerful political figures use, I suppose, and actually in that context quite a talent. Even The Armenian Observer experienced the power to captivate an audience when he attended one of the rallies last year.

  21. But even with the first point, I would argue that very few journalistic entities in Armenia have a moral-pot-to-pee-in when it comes to objective journalism. In the “who started it?” game, I will not point fingers, but it can be easily argued that just as the pro-Gov media has painted several of the opposition candidates in a less-than-favorable light, many of the opposition outlets were at least as extreme in their character assassination and yellow journalistic approaches in the months (years) up to and including the election season.

  22. To Onik: Most probably LTP was at least second. And it seems true (according to recalculation data) that Serje is not won in the first round too. It seems to me that one of the exit polls conducted was true and it paints 32% for Levon and 37% for Serje. i think he may build a coalition with Baghdasarian in second round and win properly.

  23. Math may be King, but don’t forget Methodology!

    This reference to A1+ reported polling has zero value. There is NO 3rd party indication (other than the completely discredited A1+ and Pashinyan drivel) that shows Levon anywhere near 30%.

    “…one of the exit polls conducted was true and it paints 32% for Levon and 37% for Serje.”

    Completely baseless, mathking.

  24. Everybody just cut the B.S. and see the larger picture starring you in the face. Today, the regime will use all the levers at its disposal to justify the killing of 7 civilain protestors. Personalizing the present state of affairs into LTP or Serzh supporters merely plays into their hands and clouds the issue at hand. There is no freedom of the press in Armenia as we speak and thus no possibility for “the easing of tensions “as the Catholicos, Onnik and other mealy-mouthed candid observers are calling for.

  25. Ramik,

    You have to cut the crap first and go and get your brain checked. About the 7 dead: Whoever follows terrorists , whoever is in an illegal riot is risking death. Period. I think it’s actually impressive that it was only 7 dead from the lkti xujan.

    Murderer Ter Petrosyan your end is near.May you rot in jail.

  26. То АН:
    http://www.regnum.ru/news/959642.html
    http://blog.oneworld.am/2008/02/19/exit-poll-sargsyan-wins-57-percent/

    Exit poll by Alliance civil initiative gives victory to Levon Ter-Petrossyan

    2008-02-19 20:54:00

    ArmInfo. Alliance civil initiative has conducted an exit poll at 100 polling stations. They have questioned 4,406 people. 3,550 of them (66%) agreed to answer.

    The vice chairman of Alliance Gevork Melikyan says that …
    474 people (15.5%) voted for Artur Bagdassaryan,
    40 (1.3%) for Artashes Gegamyan,
    38 (1.2%) for Tigran Karapetyan,
    8 (0.2%) for Aram Haroutyunyan,
    195 (6.4%) for Vahan Hovhannissyan,
    90 (2.9%) for Vazgen Manukyan,
    9 (0.2%) for Arman Melikyan,
    1,084 (35.4%) for Serzh Sargsyan,
    1,152 (37.7%) for Levon Ter-Petrossyan.

    Melikyan says that it was an independent survey. They planned to question 0.2% of all voters – 2,300 people.

  27. mathisking: Yes, and at least 2 independent exit polls said, John Kerry won the election in 2004. I wonder if he’s U.S. president now?

    Serge Sargsyan got elected Armenian President by a farely large margin. He will be inaugurated on April 9th, and all what happened will be a footnote in history.

  28. Mathking, I see no evidence here of credibility, methodology, or independence. Never heard of Alliance, never seen any of their work in other elections, in other countries, or with any background in this field. Independence and credibility don’t come from an announcement. The opposition dropped the ball during the election process – didn’t do the hard work in the limited but existing fragile democratic framework in Armenia.

    “Melikyan says” isn’t worth all that much, unfortunately.

  29. Take out all that funny 100% turnouts in birthplace of Aghvan Vardanian and some other villages in Gavar (based on data published on elections.am) and you will be surprised by the percent Serje got. Another question to AH and Hayrenaser: Do you think that in army everybody should vote for candidate from ruling party and there is no chance for at least one soldier to vote for anybody else?

  30. mathisking,

    Army should not vote for traitors. Army should not vote for a so called “geraguyn hramanatar” who abandoned them at he moment of need. Army should not vote for an animal who says” Armenia doesn’t need more than 10,000 men in its army”.

    Army will vote for the person who did most for the strengthening of the army.

  31. My question was simple:
    Do you think that in army everybody should vote for candidate from ruling party and there is no chance for at least one soldier to vote for anybody else? They may vote for Dashnaks or Arthur Baghdasarian, or Karapetich, right?

  32. Mathking: Nowhere have I claimed that irregularities didn’t take place. There are certain institutions to look to: the CEC, international observers, and the existing (fledgling) checks and balances, such as opposition members in each electoral district who are charged with confirming the results in each district.

    Perfect system? No.

    Better than what has existed in the past in Armenia? Yes.

    As good as it should be or could be? No.

    Two ways to go from here: 1) fight within the system (and this necessitates hard work) and demand better or 2) call for a revolution. Can’t have it both ways.

  33. Based on what assumption you think that elections are improved?
    How to fight within the system and overlook the opportunity now, when it is evident that this elections have been widely manipulated. Dont you think that system will become even more hard and there will be no fight anymore? It looks like every time we tell ourselves “Lets do it next time”, and we are finding tons of excuses for that. This candidate is traitor, other is stupid, third is something else. And next time elections are more brutal and violent. Are we waiting for messiah?

  34. My opinions are based on a better assessment of the elections from 3rd parties. From a more fair (not completely, but I claim more than previously) media coverage (still has a long way to go), better counting mechanisms, and a more neutral court. Each of these factors could be improved: I am simply making a relative argument to the past.

    My assessment is not a reflection of complacency. Rather, I think now is the time to be vigilant. I believe in slow but steady progress, and that no system changes without steady pushing toward increasing the common good. Unfortunately, I think that LTP’s hijacking the opposition (in the name of desperation or the bankrupt claim that he is the only one who can do it) is what is setting democracy back in Armenia. The authorities handling of March 1 didn’t help, but I am hopeful that the worst is behind and that we can learn something from this difficult time period.

  35. Please,

    All those who actually believe that things will change over time of their own accord are FOOLS!!!! Let5’s wait another 600 years….

    LTP Hijacking the opposition???? Look at your so-called opposition now, The Rule of Law and Dashnak sell-outs!!! What opportunists….

  36. Agree with Ramik,
    things are not changing over time here. We don’t have opposition really now, so system cant change itself. It is in its most comfortable state, single governing center, everything centralized, all others are betrayers and enemies of people. Why change? Although historically this kind of systems are not surviving, which at least makes me breath. Hope this will not last more than month. I’ve checked today an issue with raising of prices, i thought it was rumor, but yes there is a 10-15% price growth.

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