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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Armenia Limiting Foreign Broadcasts

YEREVAN, Armenia -- Armenian lawmakers gave preliminary backing to a bill Friday that could restrict the retransmission of foreign news broadcasts, legislation critics said was designed to target Armenian-language programs of Radio Free Europe.

The parliament voted 79-16 to pass the amendments, introduced by the government this week, to the country's main broadcasting law.

The amendments would require foreign-funded news broadcasters to pay around $200 every time shows are rebroadcast by the country's primary radio and television company.

U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is the only foreign news organization whose programs are rebroadcast on Armenian state radio -- up to five times a day in some cases.

Radio Liberty's FM broadcasts would not be affected.

The amendments would not affect foreign broadcasters, such as Deutsche Welle or the BBC, which broadcast on the FM frequency. Neither has Armenian language service, but do broadcast in Russian.