Reporters without Borders Condemn an Objective Journalist being Hounded in France by Armenian Community
As Yerevan crumples both on the battle and information fields, they find solace in attacking media, exposing Armenian realities, and publishing Azerbaijan’s true position. Reporters without Borders, a non-governmental organization, issued a statement, condemning online attacks against a journalist at TF1, a French TV station, after they broadcast a story on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and hate messages against a professional doing her job.
The Armenian community in France targeted Liseron Boudoul, a great journalist and reporter, with countless hate messages after her story on the Azerbaijani frontline and renewal of battles in the Nagorno Karabakh separatist region at ‘Le 20 Heures’ on TF1 on 22 October.
The haters got their hands on the journalist’s phone number and continued applying pressure through WhatsApp. They also systematically disturbed the TV channel through social media, e-mail, and phone calls.
Two other French journalists had also been threatened by the Armenian community online as they published articles on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in early October.
Pavol Szalai, head of EU/Balkans desk at Reporters Without Borders, firmly condemned the harassment to which Liseron Boudoul and TF1 have been subjected. ‘It is unacceptable for a journalist and a media outlet to be hounded in this way for covering a conflict, on the grounds that they placed themselves on a certain side of the front line. We also call on Franck Papazian, the co-chair of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France, to unequivocally condemn this grave attack on freedom of the press.’
In a Facebook comment, Papazian described Boudoul’s report as ‘similar to disinformation.’ One of the comments that followed said: ‘It’s possible that with a few beheadings of senior TF1 personnel, they will think better and more clearly.’
The day after Boudoul’s report was broadcast, members of the Armenian community demonstrated spontaneously outside TF1’s headquarters in Paris in protest against what they regarded as the TV channel’s biased coverage.
A few days before Boudoul’s report, TF1 had broadcast two reports from the Armenian side of the front line. To defuse the tension, TF1 finally removed Boudoul’s report from its website.