Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Nana Martirosyan
Armenia was ranked the 17th out of 60 countries in Freedom on the Net -2013 report issued by Freedom House.
Armenia's scores in the report are as follows: Freedom on the Net Status - Free; Freedom on the Net Total - 25; A Subtotal: Limits on Content - 35; Violations of User Rights - 40. Access to the internet in Armenia has significantly improved over the past few years, with the internet penetration rate increasing from approximately 6 percent in 2007 to 39 percent in 2012. At the same time, however, there have been minimal efforts to improve community access to the internet and digital literacy remains somewhat low, with television remaining the predominant source by which people receive news and information.
The report says that the Armenian government is very cautious about media freedom issues and tries to avoid direct pressure that may raise criticism from international organizations and local civil society activists.
The report ranked Georgia the 12th, Turkey -38th , Azerbaijan - 39th , and Russia - 41st. Iceland is on the top of the rating. Then go Estonia, Germany, and USA. Freedom House experts say Internet access is extremely restricted in Iran, Cuba, and China. Belarus, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan regularly restricted freedom on the net. Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyzstan and Russia were named as partially free on the net.