Message reading that the website has been blocked. Screenshot made by Aravot journalists. https://www.aravot-ru.am/2019/02/01/297376/

02 February 2019, 18:30

"Roskomnadzor" blocks Russian-language version of Armenian online media

The website "Aravot-ru.am" has been blocked in Russia for refusing to remove the data on the Sochi businessman of Armenian origin from the material about the cooperation of the Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) with crime bosses, the editorial board of the website has reported.

The first to complain to the "Aravot" were the advocates of the Sochi businessman, who were unhappy with a reprint of the material about his detention in the Czech Republic.

On January 29, the editorial board received a letter with a new demand from the "Roskomnadzor" (the Russian Federal Service for Supervising Communications, Information Technologies and Mass Media). "They demanded from us to remove personal data from another publication – from the briefing by Shavarsh Kocharyan (Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, – note of the "Caucasian Knot"), who, in particular, has commented on the interview (of the businessman), in which the latter stated that he was an adviser to the MFA head, drove a car with diplomatic number plates and has a diplomatic passport of Armenia," said Anna Israelyan, the editor-in-chief of the above online media.

In this publication, Shavarsh Kocharyan explains that the Sochi businessman was a freelancer for the Armenia's MFA. "There is a huge Armenian community in Sochi; and problems arise related to the community. He often manages to solve them. As for adviser, he is no longer an adviser," Mr Kocharyan has stated. The material noted that Kocharyan refused to answer the question of how often the MFA uses local crime bosses of Armenian origin for solving problems in this or that country.

The "Aravot" refused to edit Kocharyan's words about the Sochi businessman. "It turns out that a Moscow district court can ban, without our participation, the coverage of the interview of the deputy head of the Armenia's MFA, can't it? And in case we fail to fulfil the demand within 24 hours, they block the website, what they did!" Ms Israelyan has concluded in the website post on February 1.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 2, 2019 at 10:11 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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