New York, 3 March 2008
Armenian authorities should immediately lift restrictions on independent news reporting and the censorship of independent news Web sites, steps imposed when President Robert Kocharian declared a state of emergency on Saturday, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
[...] As part of the [state of emergency] declaration, Kocharian ordered media outlets to cite only official sources when reporting on national politics. Several independent and opposition news Web sites that operate under Armenian domain names were also blocked today. They included Web sites run by the pro-opposition news agency A1+ and the independent newspapers Aravot (Morning) and Aikakan Zhamanak (Armenian Time), according to the news agency Armenia Today. Armenia Today reported that local Internet users received a message that said: “Warning! As ordered by a state decree, some informational Web sites will not be accessible.” The Armenian Service of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) was blocked within the country.
"We’re alarmed by this blatant attempt to censor news of the disputed election,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We call on Armenian authorities to withdraw the ban on independent newsgathering and dissemination, and restore access to independent and opposition media"