“Ayb-Fe” reports on International Human Rights Day, marked on December 10, carrying quotes from Armenian human rights activists. “In our country people’s protection is guaranteed only with their financial resources and posts,” says Avetik Ishkhanian of the Armenian Helsinki Committee. “Ordinary citizens are unprotected against the state machine.” “Human rights are not protected because respect for human beings here is at such a low level that we view human rights as something very theoretical,” says Gayane Markosian of the Azat Ambion organization.
“Rights are violated in all spheres,” agrees Vartan Harutiunian, a Soviet-era dissident. “The greatest violation, perhaps the genesis of all rights abuses, is the fact that there is no legitimate government in Armenia. We should start restoring rights from here.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” writes scornfully that Armenian opposition parties are now competing for the status of the most pro-Western force in the country in the hope of bringing about “Ukrainian consequences.” The only good thing about this, the government-run paper says, is that “the country’s opposition will begin to leave the impression of doing something.”
A senior parliamentarian from the governing Republican Party tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that there are no prerequisites for “regime change through upheavals” in Armenia. “That social tension has considerably eased can not be denied,” says Gagik Minasian. “Revolutionary processes could start in Armenia only if the authorities adopt a defeatist policy on the Karabakh issue.”
“Aravot” writes in an editorial that any revolution, whether it is bloodless or violent, is a bad thing. “Revolutions and wars engender heroes that end up as either unsavory oligarchs or trumps,” it says. “They mostly engender swines that fancy themselves as heroes.” No foreign power can set off a revolution in a country that lacks “a whole set of prerequisites” such as strong popular disaffection with the socioeconomic situation and rampant government corruption. The Armenian authorities have done everything to create those prerequisites, concludes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” describes the privatization of Armenia’s largest metallurgical company, announced on Thursday, as unusually scandalous and dubious even by Armenian standards. The paper argues that the Armenian government will get less than $40 million for an enterprise that reported $20 million in operational profits last year. It reminds that Trade and Economic Minister Karen Chshmaritian said last month that a German company that got a controlling stake in the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine will pay $132 million. According to the plant’s former director, Roman Navasardian, its market value is at least $300 million.