From 1 to 7 January, 2020, the “Media Advocate” Initiative followed online media reports on the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia. 35 leading Armenian news agencies have been monitored.
In the specified period, 209 articles were declared, 98 of which were negative, 5 were positive and 106 were neutral.
Such a great number of negative articles on the NSS during the specified monitoring period is mainly related to the arrest of the Fake Facebook user Diana.
Touching this topic, human rights activist Avetik Ishkhanyan noted: “Words of the fake user Diana “Do not know who”, discovered by the glorious NSS, reminded me of those pupils with excellent grades who are good at learning by heart. And no matter how later our “professional” investigators “prove” his “oppositional” and “provocative” nature, I will anyway adhere to the conviction that the text was written beforehand and then given to Diana, and after reading it several times, he memorized it and read with the pronunciation of an excellent student. Not to mention the “interrogation” without an advocate.
According to another analysis, the NSS goes back to the old Soviet style. According to the publication, there is impression that the NSS and the police are not performing their functions but the political line of the party, in this case the one in power. The analysis raises the question: “Would the NSS reveal “Diana Harutyunyan” if it were not preceded by Nikol Pashinyan’s predetermined post?
It is noted that after Pashinyan’s post, the video, discovered by the NSS with the participation of the fake user, raised many questions. One of the questions is whether they will find fakes that bother other people or only those who bother the prime minister are revealed. There were some Facebook users who labeled this as a “theatrical play”.
The office of the second president, in its turn, issued a statement that they had no connection with the revealed Facebook user.
Anahit Bakhshyan has recently appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office with the request to quash the decision of the separated part of October 27 case and to launch a new investigation. The application was granted. The case was sent to the NSS. According to the publication, Anahit Bakhshyan is against that the NSS conducts the investigation. According to Yuri Bakhyan’s wife, the NSS cannot conduct an impartial investigation, because that institution has already failed the investigation of that case once, and nothing has changed in that institution to inspire confidence now. Mrs. Bakhshyan is going to propose a disqualification of the NSS.
The Prime Minister praised the NSS actions regarding the Fake Facebook user, and Zaruhi Hovhannisyan said that NSS officers behaved competently as they closed the arrested person’s face.