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The Media that Did Not Succumb to Kocharyan, A1+ is Coming Back 

A1+ TV channel closed down by the direct instruction of former President of Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, Robert Kocharyan in 2002, has launched a new legal procedure in order to reclaim its rights violated 17 years ago.

“We have been in this process for 17 years, and despite the slight suspension in the past 3 years, it was not meant that we had no intention to continue. A licensing contest is expected in the future, and we plan to participate [in the TV broadcasting licensing contest], however we would like to receive answers to all questions, before participating,” said Mesrop Movsesyan, executive director of A1+ in a press conference.

“In the past, A1+ participated in 7 contests and was rejected in all of them. All of the rejections were void of grounds and were a result of instruction. Robert Kocharyan, set the footing in all of this story. He made a decision that A1+ must be deprived of its broadcasting license, and those that obeyed him, executed the decision,” recalls Movsesyan.

He believes that the field is now clean, however the representatives of the former authorities need to be held accountable for interfering with freedom of speech and freedom of press. “Once in front of the court, I would like Robert Kocharyan to also be held accountable for his infringements upon freedom of press and speech. Everyone is complaining of the media now, that the media is not executing its functions, but no one is recalling when the foundations of this were laid down and how they were reinforced.” Many media outlets turned against A1+ back in the days, in this way they demonstrated their survility to the regime. At the same time, according to Mesrop Movsisyan, the main reason was the environment of fear that Robert Kocharyan had created in the country.

A1+ will bring the case of their rejections to the court with the hope that justice will prevail. In the meantime, despite their equipment becoming obsolete, having had to overcome hardships over the years, A1+ is confident in returning to air with a good team. Mesrop Movsisyan also believes, that the government needs to support them in achieving justice.