Wednesday, 25 July 2007

They, Us and Liberty

Why on earth they went into trouble to stage the parliamentarian show if they could effectively cease Liberty’s national broadcast using mere technicality: not signing a new contract? Are they that stupid? Or was that just pilot testing? It seems to me that they rely on tiredness and apathy of population and… yes, summer vacation season (even president is away on vacation now – right timing, Mr. Kocharyan!). They thought that they will exhaust the anger, protests etc, and now when they attempt at it again, no one will have strength to protest, everyone will be tired of it, and… it will be very hot outside. Were they right? I am afraid so… Will they succeed? I hope no…

‘Eternal optimist’

*previous posts on the topic: here, here and here


Onnik Krikorian said...

The bill was actually just a way to stop RFE/RL broadcasting on Public Radio by citing legislation that didn't name the station directly, but was directed against them, in order to say to the West, "Oh dear, we'll have to stop these broadcasts because the law says so even though we really don't want to do anything like that."

So, now the legislative means do not exist to do something indirectly, the only approach left is this although to be honest, they always had this option in mind anyway as there's been no contract in place since February.

Anyway, now we know for sure that this is an attempt by the government to restrict RFE/RL broadcasts in Armenia, the question is what will the U.S. do? Is it enough, for example, to really sour Armenian-American relations (not the kind of thing Serzh needs before the presidential election) or affect MCA funding?

Anyway, the battle is not yet over. Perhaps, even, it's only just started.

artmika said...

It does not seem that Armenian authorities fear any consequences as a result of their actions against free media. They act too blatant, too agressive, more than expected even from their 'standards'.

It's apparent that they know that US, EU may critisize, express their "concern" and no real action will follow. The unfortunate reality is that EU/US act very selectively, based on their current geopolitical interests. The question is how far the authorities will be allowed to go? But then again, Russia is always beside them, and without doubts no actions are expected from Russia in terms of defending standards of democracy in Armenia...