The International Federation of Journalists and Reporters “Without Borders” reports an increase in physical danger to journalists and the deterioration of media freedom under the military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
At least seven journalists have received injuries in fighting between the two countries since late September. In both countries, there have been mass cases of journalists’ non-admission and/or denied accreditation. In Azerbaijan, according to the President’s decision, many online media and social networks are blocked and accessible to readers only through VPN technology. Armenia, meanwhile, has banned the publication of criticism of the government and officials.
On 10 November, an incident occurred that shocked the world journalistic community, namely an attack on the Yerevan Bureau of Radio Liberty. About 40 people attacked Radio Liberty in Yerevan to protest the ceasefire. The attackers called the employees “traitors” and threatened to break computers and cameras.
The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine condemns attacks on journalists who cover the Nagorno-Karabakh military conflict.
“Journalists who cover conflicts are at high risk. Deliberate attacks on media people who simply do their job are unacceptable. It is savagery to harass journalists, wave fists, and destroy equipment. Law enforcement officers of both sides must monitor compliance with this code,” Serhiy Tomilenko, the National Union of Journalists head, said.
“We were sad to observe the conflict hot phase and welcome its end. We hope very much that the principles of freedom of speech will be restored in these countries now,” Tetyana Popova, a media expert at the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine and an expert in strategic communications of the “Information Security” NGO, stated.
Anthony Bellanger, the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Journalists, said, “We condemn the violence used by the protesters to show their disagreement with the agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and their attack on Radio Liberty. The media must be protected from such attacks, and we call on the Armenian authorities to ensure the safety of media workers. ”