Despite recommendations from the Council of Europe and other international organizations, the government in February rejected for the 10th time a broadcast license application filed by A1+, the independent television station pulled off the air in 2002. The station continued to operate a popular news Web site, publish a weekly newspaper, and produce programs for regional television stations.

In February, the Interior Ministry closed its investigation into a 2004 arson attack on a car owned by editor Nikola Pashinian of the independent daily Haikakan Zhamanak in the capital, Yerevan. No arrests were made. Haikakan Zhamanak reported that police never interviewed a politician whom the newspaper believed to be responsible.

Arson was used as a means of attack again on April 1, when someone burned the car of Samuel Aleksanian, editor-in-chief of the state weekly Syunyats Yerkir in the southern city of Goris, according to local press reports. Aleksanian said the attack followed his criticism of the local governor.

Armenian politicians cited the "war on terror" as reason for passing legislation restricting press coverage of terrorism. President Robert Kocharian signed the measure on April 19, ignoring concerns over vaguely worded prohibitions on reporting of antiterror tactics, the Yerevan Press Club reported.

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