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RFE/RL Programs Off the Air in Armenian Blackout

The organization also reported its Web site was being blocked.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty said its broadcasts to Armenia were off the air since Saturday and its Internet site blocked as part of a news blackout imposed under a state of emergency.

“Under an emergency decree issued by Armenian President Robert Kocharian, media may use only government-sanctioned news for a 20-day period,” the organization said, adding that its Armenian Service broadcasts four hours daily in Armenian on FM frequencies of two local affiliates that complied with the decree and took RFE/RL programs off the air.

“RFE/RL is the only Armenian language foreign radio in the country,” it added. The organization also reported its Web site was being blocked, though domains were being added to skirt that move.

In other BBG news, the Broadcasting Board of Governors condemned the Iranian government’s sentencing of RFE/RL journalist Parnaz Azima to a year in prison for “spreading anti-state propaganda.” Azima works for Radio Farda, a joint venture of RFE/RL and the Voice of America.