ArmInfo. The dissemination of manipulative, false information around yesterday's events in Syunik region is yet another evidence of the use of any informational occasion in the internal political struggle. And the submission of information by most of the Armenian media regarding the events around Lake Sev Lich shows that even issues related to national security are not an exception. Chairman at Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression Ashot Melikyan expressed a similar opinion to ArmInfo.
"I am convinced that in taking such actions, the leadership of Azerbaijan, among others, is firmly guided by the desire to sow panic in the Armenian society. The escalation of internal political tension is part of Baku's plans. And by spreading misinformation, the Armenian media, willingly or unwillingly, contribute to these plans of the enemy, "he stressed.
To note, on the morning of May 12, the Azerbaijani armed forces crossed the border in the area of Lake Sev Lich, deepening into the territory of Armenia up to 3.5 kilometers in order to establish control over the lake. In the evening of the same day, at a meeting of the Security Council of Armenia, acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described what happened in the Syunik region as a subversive infiltration. He also assessed this situation as at least close to a crisis. At the same time, throughout the day, various Armenian media, referring to their own sources, disseminated information about shootings, clashes and even casualties, both in this section of the border and in the Gegharkunik region of the country.
Thus, according to the expert, such publications in the Armenian media are pursuing the main political goal - to demonstrate to the society the inability of the current government to defend the interests of the state. At the same time, the fact of harm to the state and national security is absolutely ignored by the authors of such publications. Meanwhile, any mass media must know that by publishing information and photographs, for example, about the movements of troops and military equipment, is grist to the enemy's mill.
"Such information constitutes a military secret that must be respected. In this light, the state needs to do extensive work in order to prevent the leakage of such information. And, of course, it is necessary to tighten and apply the relevant legislative regulations. The media, in turn, should be responsible for dissemination even reliable information, if the latter is a military one, especially a state secret, "he is convinced.
"In the conditions of the election campaign, in the conditions when the political struggle for power in Armenia has long migrated to the media, unfortunately, the last red lines disappeared. In this light, the spread of misinformation, the sharp "embellishment" of the situation on the border by the media serving the interests of various political forces will continue. And few people are interested in the fact that our society suffers as a result of all this flow of lies," he stressed.
According to the expert, the situation around Lake Sev Lich, the situation in the information field as a whole indicates the presence of structures that clearly coordinate and reconcile their own actions in information attacks in order to destroy their own political opponent. At the same time, according to Melikyan, none of the authors and participants of this information campaign is at all interested in how their attacks affect the moral and psychological state of the Armenian society.
"Unfortunately, with the approach of June 20, the date of the early parliamentary elections, this whole situation will only worsen. And the elections themselves will be accompanied by various pressures, including physical violence. So, difficult times await us all, "the expert forecasts.
Among the measures capable of alleviating the situation, Melikyan also highlighted the prevention of the creation of an information vacuum by the relevant state bodies. According to him, the state is simply obliged not to allow a vacuum, at least in the coverage of the most important issues. He noted with regret that the state very often does not provide the society with verified and reliable information, which opens up wide opportunities for disseminators of disinformation and fake manipulators. "In this light, society needs to check any information from several sources. It is also important to disseminate reliable information by the small number of media outlets that today generally have the right to be called that. It is important that such media take on a heavy load, informing society about the realities, and thereby refuting disinformation and preventing the spread of manipulative information flows, "the expert summed up.