7 years have passed since closure of A1+

The most trusted name in Armenian broadcast news at the time, “A1+” TV channel was shut down on April 2, 2002 having lost its broadcast license in a competition held by Armenian National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR), a state licensing authority fully controlled by president Robert Kocharian.
“A1+” took part in 12 broadcast license competitions since than and lost all of them. After failed attempts to regain a license through NCTR-administered competitions or through the Armenian judicial system, “A1+” turned to the European Court of Human Rights, which, having considered the case, ruled on June 17, 2008, that the refusals to grant a broadcast license to “Meltex” LLC were a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention, i.e., of “the right of the applicant to freely impart information and ideas”.
Today, months after ECHR ruling, years of struggle by “A1+”, along with media and human right’s NGOs, numerous calls by the international community to settle the issue, “A1+” is still off the air, although it’s faithful viewers can still get it on “A1+” website, YouTube channel and blog.

Podcast: A1plus won in European Court of Human Rights

The 17th issue of the “Armenian Blogosphere” Radioshow – Podcast is now available. The 5 minute 2mb mp3 file of the program can be downloaded here. The issue brings a review of blog-posts about the A1plus victory at the European Court of Human Rights announced this week. The full Armenian text of the review is available at the Armenian language version of this blog – here. The podcast also features an interview with Uzbek bloger Tolkun – made at the Caucasus Barcamp.

A1plus wins in European Court. Meltex Ltd and Mesrop Movsesyan v. Armenia

imageI just heard the best news for the Freedom of Speech in Armenia in the course of the past 7 years! A1plus has won the case against the RA Government in the European Court of Human Rights. Check out the text of the official judgment. Congratulations – A1plus.
The Armenian authorities will have to pay EUR 30,000 to A1plus – which is of course very little, but what is more important, is the precedent. Admittedly, the Armenian government has been loosing case after case in the European Court of Human Rights in the recent months. Here’s more from A1plus:
http://a1plus.am/en/?page=issue&iid=61705
http://a1plus.am/en/?page=issue&iid=61709

Internet is being censored in Armenia

In the evening of March 2, the Internet Society of Armenia (ISOC) has ILLEGALLY stopped the maintenance of several domains, including A1+ – www.a1plus.am, Haykakan Zhamanak – www.azatutyun.am, E-channel – www.echannel.am. In the database of ISOC- https://www.amnic.net/whois/ , they are registered as “on hold.”
With that step, A1+ has been deprived not only of his site but also if its mail service.
The domains have been “frozen” without the decision of the ISOC board – either by the instruction on behalf of the presidential office, or the National Security Service.
In the decree of president Kocharyan, there was nothing about freezing the domains, closing web sites and the media.
We would like to provide some help to those, who still want to access the above mentioned websites. Firstly, Echannel.am and Azatutyun.am have their backup DNS records. You can access Echannel.am also at E-channel.am (e-channel with a -) and Azatutyun.am at armenialiberty.am. At the moment we are negotiating with the ISOC board to urge them to stop this illegal blocking of our domain names. However, there is a possibility, that the backup domain names (E-channel.am and armenialiberty.am) will also be blocked. For that case, I will be posting a list of IP names for the servers, where these and other blocked information websites are located, and you can access them by clicking the links in the list below (I’ll update the list as soon as colleagues let me know the relevant IP addresses):

  1. a1lus.am – 75.125.179.218:8080
  2. echannel.am – 76.163.218.144
  3. azatutyun.am – 193.111.134.85

Let me remind everybody, that A1plus YouTube channel and Asplus blog are still functional. There is also an Armenian Newspaper Electronic Archive, where you can find Archived publications from some of the blocked newspaper websites.
As for bloggers – I would strongly recommend, that all of you access your email addresses and blog accounts using one of the anonymous web browsing suggestions, and change your email and blog account passwords. Make sure they’re strong, contain figures and letters.

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