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Press Review


Levon Zurabian, a political analyst close to former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, tells “Aravot” that the recent amendments to Armenia’s constitution weakened legal protection of private property. Zurabian says that residents of central Yerevan who were forcibly evicted from their subsequently demolished homes now have even fewer chances of clinching proper compensation from the state. Even after this week’s ambiguous Constitutional Court ruling that declared the process unconstitutional, he says.

As “Haykakan Zhamanak” observes, although the court found the mass evictions illegal, it effectively told Armenians to accept the gross violation of their rights as a fait accompli and refrain from attempting to reverse them.

“168 Zham” agrees, saying that in essence the court ruling “gave nothing” to the victims of what the paper considers a blatant land grab. “There was not a single word in the Constitutional Court’s decision about compensation of losses suffered by citizens,” it writes. “In other words, the victims scored only a moral victory.” The paper adds that the verdict’s logic is tantamount to police catching a thief red-handed, scolding him in public and then letting him go with the loot.

“The [human rights] ombudsman defeated the government, but what did the people gain?” asks “Golos Armenii.” The paper is also worried that poor people will continue to be “thrown out of their homes.” It wonders if they can use the court verdict to prevent the authorities from confiscating their old houses slated for demolition.

“Aravot” discusses the latest exchange of tough rhetoric between Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders. “Unfortunately, official propaganda in both Armenia and Azerbaijan is based on the notion of ethnic incompatibility [of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples],” editorializes the paper. “If our two ethnic groups are mutually incompatible, then either we must destroy them or they [must destroy] us. But because that is practically impossible, one must find ways of [peaceful] co-existence. But those can not be found by totally rejecting each other. This situation can be rectified, changed or improved. But that requires will and courage from both sides.”

(Hrach Melkumian)
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