The first President of the Republic of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan published an article, where he, particularly, noted: “While the authorities are engaged in almost everyday hard work, a huge army of unappreciated geniuses, provocateurs and malevolents, with countless media outlets and hundreds of fake accounts controlled by well-known forces, has in fact opened up a second front of war against them,” the “Media Advocate” initiative noted this in a statement which also reads as follows:
In fact, Ter-Petrosyan deepens the misconception that some media outlets are just propaganda tools which are under the influence of this or that political force. Such allegations diminish the role of the free press in the Republic of Armenia, lowering them from news disseminators to the level of a politics tool. The first president adds: “By all means of propaganda and upbringing, to oblige the society to obey the instructions of the Commandant controlling the State of Emergency and the Minister of Health and strictly follow their instructions. Stop the propaganda and actions of sowing the seeds of distrust and hatred towards the authorities, leaving the issue of demanding answers from them in the future.”
When declaring the state of emergency, Nikol Pashinyan’s government envisaged restrictions on the press, which received a very harsh response from both our society and the international community. Levon Ter-Petrosyan, actually, demands a much harsher approach from the authorities than they have adopted. He also expressed hope that “the second and third presidents of Armenia will instruct the media outlets under their control to immediately stop their fierce struggle initiated against the current authorities and will not lose this proper moment to behave like statesmen.” In fact, Ter-Petrosyan does not accept that there is a free press in Armenia, and if the media outlets report anything different from the official point or contradicting it, then they are under the control of the second or third president.
Such political simplification not only helps Nikol Pashinyan, who from the very first day of coming to power has been fighting against media outlets that are not controlled by him, but also show that Pashinyan does not bother himself to look through the media outlets controlled by the first president, spreading hostility and propaganda on a daily basis.
“Media Advocate” initiative condemns such harsh attacks on media under the guise of consolidating the society and hopes that the current Armenian authorities will not listen to the calls of the first president and will remain faithful to their constitutional duty of protecting the freedom of the press.