Asaf,

I hear you. My apologies to Susanna and the list for anything I have said
that cast aspersions on Susanna's character.

Nevertheless, I remain concerned. She is part of a state committee under
the authority of the Armenian Minister of Education and Science, who along
with other senior political figures has repeatedly been a featured speaker
at Wikimedia Armenia events during her tenure as the President of Wikimedia
Armenia.[1][2]

I do not consider that sort of government proximity healthy or advisable.

Andreas

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiConference_Yerevan_2015/Schedule
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiConference_Yerevan_2012/Schedule

On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 12:24 AM, Asaf Bartov <abar...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> I would like to add that I have been following Susanna's work in Armenia
> since 2011, and have had occasion to evaluate it as a grants officer.
> During these five years, Susanna has been an exemplary Wikimedian, building
> community around her, empowering other volunteers to do their best work,
> and building partnerships with cultural institutions as well as government
> in her country.  I have had the pleasure of visiting Armenia last year and
> seeing up close one of Susanna's impressive projects -- the Wikicamp -- as
> well as attending and speaking at a conference at Matenadaran (the national
> archive) and meeting many Armenian Wikipedians.
>
> Nothing I have seen leads me to be concerned about Susanna's commitment to
> movement values, *despite* working in a country struggling with
> corruption[1], ongoing military conflict, and relatively weak democratic
> discipline.  Indeed, I have personally witnessed Susanna *resist* attempts
> at co-optation of Wikimedia Armenia's work.
>
> I encourage Andreas to retract his accusations ("clearly" etc.).
> Expressing a concern that there *might* be government interference was
> perhaps legitimate, but proceeding to besmirch Susanna and her work without
> evidence is unacceptable.
>
>    Asaf
>
> [1] let us remember countries in the west struggle with tremendous
> corruption too, albeit manifested more financially than ideologically.
>
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 4:10 PM, Cristian Consonni <kikkocrist...@gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
> > 2016-03-03 0:15 GMT+01:00 Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com>:
> > > I don't know Susanna, and in fact until yesterday had never heard of
> her.
> > > She may well be a delightful and charming person with a genuine
> > enthusiasm
> > > for open knowledge. There are after all many encyclopedic topics that
> > have
> > > no political sensitivity or relevance at all. But she is clearly part
> of
> > a
> > > government-sponsored effort to control the Armenian Wikipedia.
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > 2016-03-03 0:26 GMT+01:00 Risker <risker...@gmail.com>:
> > > Wow, Andreas. That's taking several major leaps of logic.  Sometimes a
> > > cigar is just a cigar. Any reason why you brought these rather
> > > extraordinary assumptions to this mailing list before Susanna had even
> > had
> > > a chance to respond to your question at her nomination page?
> >
> > [...]
> >
> > 2016-03-03 0:33 GMT+01:00 Nathan <nawr...@gmail.com>:
> > > Is there any actual connection between Susanna and the high-level
> > > government interest or effort around the Armenian Wikipedia? What I'm
> > > asking is if there is anything here, other than supposition that
> because
> > > she is Armenian and the Armenian government is interested in Wikipedia
> > that
> > > Susanna must be guilty of corruption and repression by association?
> >
> > Andreas,
> >
> > You are making very strong and, what's worse, completely
> > unsubstantiated accusations towards a person while admitting of not
> > knowing her, her history and her contributions to the movement.
> >
> > The only person that thinks that  "she [Susanna] is clearly part of a
> > government-sponsored effort to control the Armenian Wikipedia" is you.
> >
> > As Risker already noted your reasoning contains majors leaps of logic
> > and I find that your behavior is frankly appalling. As Nathan said you
> > have no evidence to support anything of what you have said besides the
> > fact that Susanna is Armenian.
> >
> > The FDC reviewed in May 2015 the activities of Wikimedia Armenia in
> > the APG 2014/2015 round 2 [1] and found all programs to be
> > volunteer-led and well-aligned with the values and the mission of the
> > Wikimedia movement. The FDC judged Wikimedia Armenia to be "a
> > grassroots organization with a strong volunteer base. It is small,
> > flexible, and able to engage with a wide range of volunteers through
> > its projects."[2]. The evaluation of the FDC of Wikimedia Armenia was
> > a praise (and a recommendation for full funding)[2]. Not in a single
> > moment there was the least shred of doubt that the activities of
> > Wikimedia Armenia could go against the values of the movement. Never
> > there was even the remote suspicion of Wikimedia Armenia being part of
> > the government-led "scheme" to oppress people that you are suggesting.
> > In the occasion of the APG proposal (and besides that, at any time)
> > there were and there are several avenues to criticize  - also
> > privately and anonymously, if one so needs or wishes -  what the
> > chapter does and what the people in the chapter do and there was not a
> > single instance of any kind of accusation like the ones that you are
> > making from nothing.
> >
> > Your accusation are an insult to all the volunteers in Wikimedia
> > Armenia, and I think you owe them an apology, especially to Susanna.
> >
> > I want you to know that I find this behavior to be toxic and that in
> > my opinion you are harming the people in the movement and its mission.
> >
> > Cristian
> >
> > [1]
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2014-2015_round2/Wikimedia_Armenia/Proposal_form#Praise_and_one_question
> > [2]
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/FDC_recommendations/2014-2015_round_2#Wikimedia_Armenia
> >
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>
>
>
> --
>     Asaf Bartov
>     Wikimedia Foundation <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
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