Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Jul 3, 2007
A1plus, Armenia

The Armenian Council of America wrote a letter to the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressing a deep concern on the possible close down of the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty by the Armenian authorities.

“On behalf of the Armenian-American Community, we would like to convey to you our deepest concern regarding the possible passage of the law on broadcasting currently being discussed in the Armenian parliament. More troubling is the fact that the newly formed government has selected this law in particular as its first order of business for this special session, disregarding all other and much more pressing issues facing the republic of Armenia today. This leads us to believe that the sole intent of the Armenian authorities is to effectively shut down Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, the only, truly independent news outlet currently broadcasting in Armenia”, says the letter.

“After the closure of A1 Plus and Noyan Tapan, the Armenian authorities exercised total control on the rest of the broadcast media, except for Radio Liberty which, de facto, became the only alternative source of information. If the authorities succeed in passing this law, it will have a devastating effect on the political climate of the country and will deprive the population of Armenia of the only remaining media outlet that has consistently delivered fair, unbiased and balanced news and opinions. We believe that the United States along with the other western governments and organizations such as the OSCE, bear their share of responsibility for what is transpiring today by giving their seal of approval to the highly flawed parliamentary elections that led to a monolithic parliament where the opposition is represented by less then 12 %. By doing so, western governments not only failed in their commitment toward a democratic Armenia, but also emboldened the authorities to take such a drastic action. It is in the best interest of the United States and all other countries that there be an unfettered flow of information throughout the world, especially in a country like Armenia, where, according to Freedom House’s latest report, the media is considered “not free’’ and the closure of Radio Liberty will further hinder the country’s democratic progress.

On behalf of the Armenian-American community, we urge you to take every step possible to avert this looming debacle and call on the Armenian government to reconsider its position and refrain from passing this law”, wrote the authors of the letter.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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