US Ambassador to Armenia Richard M. Mills has thanked the Public Radio of Armenia for the work its reporting staff has done throughout the protests that led to a peaceful transition of power in Armenia.
“I wanted to take a moment following this historic period in Armenia to thank you and other news outlets for the work your reporting staff has done. The dedication of Armenia’s journalists to cover the recent developments in a professional and independent manner is one of the reasons, I think, the situation was solved peacefully,” Mr. Mills said in a letter to Mark Grigoryan, Executive Director of Public Radio of Armenia.
The Ambassador noted that “democracy is not an easy process,” and added that “an independent and free press is its keynote.”
“The forcible intrusion into the Public Radio offices by protesters was a frightening episode in what was otherwise a mostly peaceful movement. Equally disheartening was the lack of outrage from supporters of a free press over the intrusion. I know that two of your reporters, Liana Yeghiazaryan and Vruir Tadevosyan suffered harassment and injury while working on the streets. And while reports of such incidents were the exception and not the rule, as I have said before, any attack on a journalist is an attack on all of civil society,” the letter reads.
“The work you are doing to develop a radio station that serves not the government but the public is noble. It is one of the reasons I remain hopeful for the future of this nation. I am sure you will continue to bring to light issues affecting society and to explore possible solutions.And I hope you and your fellow outlets will continue to be free, independent sources of information for all your readers, viewers, listeners and followers,” the Ambassador said.
According to Mr. Mills, “without free, unbiased information the people cannot make decisions and the government cannot act in the best interests of the population.”
“While Armenia’s media landscape is not without its problems and challenges, I think collectively you should feel a sense of professional pride for the work you did over long hours, grueling conditions, and an uncertain future,” Amb. Mills added.