13 February 2021, 11:57

Journalists in Yerevan are outraged by restricted access to border villages

The National Security Service (NSS) of Armenia has banned journalists from working in the border villages of the Syunik Region without special permits. This ban is contrary to the Armenian Constitution and points to possible new territorial concessions from Yerevan, journalists have stated.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that following the autumn aggravation of Karabakh conflict and the transfer of the "buffer zone" around the region to Azerbaijan's control, works began on the demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. In this process, residents of several villages in the Syunik Region of Armenia lost their farmlands and houses.

Residents of this region went out to protest actions, expressing fears for their safety due to the proximity of Azerbaijani militaries.

In its turn, the NSS has explained that the new restrictions were introduced because of security concerns and works on the border of the region.

The "Caucasian Knot" has drafted a map to show the territories that will pass over to Azerbaijan after the autumn war. Also, the "Caucasian Knot" has published a deployment map of the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The reasons for the restriction of their work in the Syunik Region were not explained to journalists, Satik Seiranyan, the head of the Armenian Union of Journalists, has noted. According to her version, authorities were not happy with reports on border villages' problems.

Ms Seiranyan has added that there is an opinion that the restrictions for journalists have to do with "new territorial concessions" in the Syunik Region.

Daniel Ionesyan, the programme coordinator of the "Union of Informed Citizens", has noted that there is no law stipulating a special procedure for obtaining permits from NSS for journalistic work.

Naira Airumyan, a political observer and the editor of the "Lragir.am", has also linked the NSS' decision with the Armenia's territorial concessions in Syunik. The most pressing issue is the organization of a corridor between Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan, Ms Airumyan has added.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 12, 2021 at 10:07 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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