From 1 to 10 February, 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, 821 articles were declared, 100 of which were negative, 7 were positive and 714 were neutral.
Numerous negative articles have been declared on the RA NSS. Advocates of the Bavra Customs Inspectorate case, Vahan Hovhannisyan and Suzanna Khcheyan have issued a statement. It should be reminded that on February 7, the head of Bavra customs office was arrested for letting the truck in without customs registration. Nikol Pashinyan stated after the incident that “People have imported or assisted in importing products without customs registration. That is, the cars easily passed the customs border.” In his statement, the Prime Minister not only obviously violated the principle of presumption of innocence of people not involved in the apparent crime, but also predetermined the further course of the entire investigation and the indictment. When receiving the Prime Minister’s statement, the investigating body, the RA NSS Investigative Department, received a “green-light” to undertake any investigative and procedural actions even prohibited by law, in order to follow the “instruction” of the Prime Minister to prosecute and indict people for committing an apparent crime.
Commenting on inviting the officials to the NSS, publicist Vahan Ishkhanyan wrote: “Criminal cases instituted against Hrayr Tovmasyan, former NA Speaker Ara Babloyan and former Deputy Chief of NA Staff Arsen Babayan are groundless. Tovmasyan’s daughters and father were summoned to the National Security Service with the intention to dismiss Tovmasyan, but they failed as Tovmasyan was not intimidated after it.
One of the news outlets wrote that a citizen was asked what had been changed in Armenia after the revolution. He answered that he could not give an exact answer as the “KGB” may come after him. To the question whether KGB or the NSS, the man responded that the name was changed but the functions are actually the same.