Saturday, June 30, 2007

Banana Republic: The Armenian authorities to ban Radio Liberty local broadcasts

The only mass media outlet currently in Armenia that is not controlled by the Armenian government is the Radio Liberty. Since the Kocharian/Serj Sargsian duo tightened their grip on Armenia after the October 27 parliament massacre in 1999, they have relentlessly pursued and closed down any independent media outlet that has had more than a marginal audience. A1Plus TV station is a prime example of that (today they only operate a news website).

Now the administration has turned their sights at Radio Liberty. As you may know, Radio Liberty is a radio network funded by the US government and its task is to disseminate news in different languages. Its primary target markets were the countries behind the iron curtain during the Cold War. In the old times their broadcasts were jammed by the Soviets. One would think that after the USSR break-up it would seize to target these countries. But it didn't and for a good reason. Most of the former USSR republics were either autocratic regimes, or slowly turned into autocratic regimes in the 90-s. Only the Baltic states are free countries with Georgia and Ukraine being somewhat free. The rest of them are not places that one would want to live in with Uzbekistan being the worst.

I am surprised at the audacity of the Armenian government. Not even Russia has tried to ban RFE/RL from their country. I don't know if they are going to get away with it. The number one reason I think they can't get away with it is that they depend a lot on the handouts from the American government; if you are a beggar, you don't have much of a leverage on your beneficiary. They may think that this way they will blackmail the US and get some more money but it sure will backfire on them. They will eventually pay for this one way or another.

Here are a few links related to this story.
ArmeniaNow article
RFE/RL article

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What do you expect from the stupid thugs who rule Armenia? Of course they wish to silence Radio Liberty and any source of criticism about their thieving ways. Anyone in Armenia with half a brain knows they must find ways to get out of the country. It's the only chance to escape a nation ruled by lying morons. It's sad, but true.