WASHINGTON, DC — The Freedom House has ranked Armenia as a “free” country in its annual Freedom on the Net 2022 report, despite the fact that global internet freedom has now declined for 12 straight years.
Armenia’s neighbor Georgia is also a “free” country, Azerbaijan and Turkey are ranked as “not free.” Armenia’s southern neighbor Iran is “partly free.”
Freedom House gave Armenia an overall score of 74 out of 100 points this year, classifying the country as having a “free” internet and marking an improvement of three points since last year. It is the fifth year in a row that Armenia has had a “free” internet, according to Freedom House.
“Internet freedom in Armenia improved during the coverage period (June 2021–May 2022), largely due to the lifting of restrictions on the free flow of information that the government implemented” during the 2020 Karabakh war, this year’s report said.
“Additionally, (Armenian) media outlets faced less significant cyberattacks than they did in the previous coverage period,” it continued, adding that the Armenian government has also scrapped proposed amendments to the criminal code that would have criminalized “grave insults.”
Civil society activists aired their concerns in private meetings with diplomats and in Armenian news outlets, and their objections were then cited in a formal appeal to the Constitutional Court. Government officials agreed to exclude the provision from a new criminal code that took effect in July 2022, and committed to broad consultation with nongovernmental groups when developing media-related laws in the future.