On April 2, nine years have passed since “A1+” TV company was deprived of the right to air. On December 16, 2010 the National Commission on Television and Radio refused “A1+” a broadcast license for the thirteenth time. This caused a new tide of criticism in Armenia and abroad. The NCTR denial to grant a license to the TV company was assessed by human rights organizations, “Freedom House” and “Human Rights Watch”, as a slap in the face to advocates of free media, and as another setback for freedom of expression and information in Armenia. By expressing its disappointment with the work of NCTR, “People’s TV” Foundation, created to support “A1+”, stated: “NCTR and the Armenian authorities disregarded the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on the case of “Meltex” LLC (on June 17, 2008 the ECHR recognized the refusals to grant a broadcast license to “Meltex” LLC to be a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, i.e., of the right of the applicant to freely impart information and ideas, Ed. Note), a number of documents, the exhortations of respectable international organizations, as well as the opinion of its own public” (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, December 10-16, 2010, and December 17-23, 2010).
The results of the December 16, 2010 licensing competitions were contested by “A1+” founder, “Meltex” LLC, in a judicial order (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, February 11-17, 2011). The hearings on the case of “Meltex” versus NCTR will start on May 11, 2011 at the court of general jurisdictions of Kentron and Nork-Marash administrative districts of Yerevan.