“Edgar Arakelian, who hit a policeman with a plastic bottle, was sentenced to 1.5 years’ imprisonment. Ashot Avetisian and Hrair Harutiunian, who attacked journalists, were fined 100,000 drams each,” writes “Aravot.” “This simple comparison totally exposes both the inclinations of our justice and the independence of the two above-mentioned individuals from the government and oligarchic structures.” The paper says the burly “shaven heads” that flooded the courtroom on Thursday were as “impudent” and “confident of their impunity” as during the April 5 opposition rally in Yerevan.
“Yesterday they were swearing at and mocking journalists and didn’t give a damn about policemen present in the court and presiding judge Ruben Nersisian,” “Aravot” adds. “They reserved themselves the right to stand at the doorstep of the court…and let citizens in at their discretion, once again proving that the state and the law are nothing for them and that their masters are omnipotent.” The paper says the “imitation of a trial” of some journalist attackers was timed to coincide with the fact-finding visit to Yerevan by Jerzy Jaskiernia, the Armenia rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
“The brotherhood of shaven heads was the undisputed master of the courtroom and the court investigation,” agrees “Iravunk.” The paper says judge Nersisian, who effectively found the beating of a single journalist to be worth 50,000 drams (less than $100), is known for rubber-stamping the wholesale imprisonment of participants of opposition rallies over the past year.
“Hayots Ashkhar,” meanwhile, discusses the first anniversary of the formation of Armenia’s coalition government. The paper believes that although the coalition has played a “stabilizing role,” it has still not become a “united, strong political team” and is slow in implementing goals publicly proclaimed by the three coalition parties one year ago. It chides each of those parties for their periodical bouts of “populism” and failure to nominate only competent persons for senior government jobs.
“The real ideological base of the coalition is to be part of the government and maintain power,” comments “Aravot.” “They are therefore wrong to blame the opposition for having no ideas. The opposition has the same idea: to come to power and maintain it.”
The opposition’s commitment to addressing the needs of ordinary citizens is seriously questioned by “Ayb-Fe.” “There must indeed be regime change inside the opposition camp,” writes the weekly publication of the closed A1+ television station. “Today’s opposition has already twice botched a serious task. The same persons must simply not be given a chance to get it wrong for a third time.”