Armenia Media Chiefs Protest State Of Emergency Restrictions


March 13 2008

YEREVAN, March 13 (Itar-Tass) – Chiefs of several Armenian periodicals
have voiced protest against the restrictions on operation of the
mass media that were imposed for the period of a state of emergency
in Yerevan.

"Our constitutional right to spread and receive information has been
stamped upon, the generally accepted principle of the freedom of
speech and press have been violated," chief editors of 12 newspapers,
Internet editions and other mass media, and leaders of Yerevan’s Press
Club and journalist organization Internews said in a joint statement
published on Thursday.

"The mass media are incurring material losses, the censorship is
being carried out in Armenia, and our country has found itself in a
total information blockade," the statement says.

"Armenian authorities have just banned the activity of mass media
that are undesirable for them," the editors said.

The statement said Internet sites, CNN and EuroNews news bulletins on
the events in Armenia are cut short and commercials are shown instead.

The broadcasting of the Armenian service of Radio Liberty on local
airwaves has been shut down.

"All this does not help the relief of tension in society," media
chiefs said in their statement.