The Union of Journalists of Armenia assesses the attack against Aravot daily as a part of the campaign unleashed by the government against the freedom of press

23:45 15-03-2023

Yesterday, Anna Israelyan, the editor of online “Aravot” posted on her Facebook account  that since 7:46 p.m. they had lost access to their YouTube channel.

According to the editor, it was preceded by the following announcement published by Aravot:

“Our days – #Enriched revolutionaries

How and how much did the revolutionary officials get rich in a country in war, in the year of war?

Who are the “Notorious Kings” of today?

Watch tomorrow at 9:00 p.m.

Later Anna Israelyan added that the attackers have changed the name of the Aravot YouTube channel and are deleting the videos, and although the ones related to Civil Contract fraction were saved at first,  later they were also deleted.

Even though the media did not appeal to law enforcement, according to Aravot editor-in-chief Aram Abrahamyan and Anna Israelyan, the editor of online Aravot, if they wanted, they could have accepted their statements as a report and deal with it.

So far the law enforcement agencies, including the state institutions with the function of ensuring information security, have not responded in any way to what happened, there has been no official statement to investigate the incident, to punish the culprits. Instead, the representative of the government made an arrogant statement mocking the incident, which further deepened the more than reasonable suspicion that the incident has a direct or indirect connection with the authorities.

Taking into account the zeal of the current government in spreading its own propaganda on the Internet and social networks and preventing the publication of content against it in every way, it is hard to believe that the government that spends huge financial and human resources in this area from the state budget and other sources might not have anything to do with promising to expose the corruption of officials with the attack against the media’s YouTube channel.

The Union of Journalists of Armenia strongly condemns this cyber-attack against the Aravot daily newspaper, demands from the government and all state bodies to identify the perpetrators and masterminds of the crime as soon as possible, and to bring them to a criminal legal assessment. If not so,  the suspicions that the attack against Aravot was carried out on the instructions of the government, on the instructions of Nikol Pashinyan himself.

Unfortunately, what happened against the Aravot daily is not an exception, a unique case, but a regularity, which testifies to the consistent campaign of the authorities against the independent, uncontrolled press after 2018. In the past five years, the government has not discriminated against the press, starting from fake attacks on the media, to blocking or restricting access to social media pages through various fact-checking organizations. Non-governmental media social platforms, websites, YouTube pages, Facebook work and personal pages of editors, journalists, public figures were openly and covertly targeted and subjected to total attacks by the authorities, fake users controlled by them… The goal is obvious: to silence free speech, to discredit the press and the journalist’s work.

The Union of Journalists of Armenia assesses the attack against Aravot daily as a part of the campaign unleashed by the government against the freedom of press and speech, calling on all media, journalists, regardless of their political preferences and contradictions, to show professional solidarity and jointly support the longest-lasting Armenian press and one of the most professional representatives, i.e. Aravot, contributing to the discovery of the crime with that united consistency and demandingness.

 Union of Journalists of Armenia