Friday, June 29, 2007

To be sure, OSCE is not the only one criticizing.

OSCE Criticizes Planned Armenian Media Restrictions June 28, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- A top media freedom advocate has criticized proposed amendments to Armenia's legal code that would
severely restrict foreign broadcast media.

Miklos Haraszti, the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe's media freedom representative, called on Armenian
lawmakers not to adopt
the amendments, saying they
were incompatible with OSCE commitments to media freedoms.

Under the draft amendments, Armenian broadcasters
would have to pay a sharply increased fee for each aired program made by a
foreign media organization.

The legislation would also ban Armenian Public
Television and Radio (HHHR) from retransmitting programs of foreign

RFE/RL's Armenian Service primarily relies on HHHR's
radio frequencies to air its daily news programs across Armenia.

Haraszti said that as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
is currently the only foreign media outlet using the HHHR frequency, the
adoption of the amendments "would amount to a ban on their programs in

Armenia: Government Moves Against Foreign Broadcast Media June 28, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Armenia's National Assembly is due today to debate government draft amendments that could end Armenian-language broadcasts of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Among the amendments is a proposal to ban, or put a heavy fine on, retransmission of foreign-broadcast programs.

The two draft amendments sent to the parliament late on June 26 were swiftly condemned by local media rights groups and top opposition leaders.


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