(Saturday, May 10)
“The fact that Serzh Sarkisian preferred to leave town on May 9 and to mark the Shushi liberation day in Artsakh (Karabakh) for the first time in his capacity as president might have been understandable in a different situation,” writes “168 Zham.” “But not in this case where he had to look participants of Shushi’s liberation in the eyes here in Yerevan and explain why [fellow war veterans] Zhirayr Sefilian, Vartan Malkhasian, Sasun Mikaelian, Husik Baghdasarian, Smbat Ayvazian and many other freedom fighters are in prison. Some of the freedom fighters, who did not get killed and were therefore not declared heroes, now live on the brink of poverty are forgotten. Others, who dared not to stand by the authorities, are under arrest.”
“Others, who got economic levers after the war, are so manageable that there is no need to arrest them or their relatives, even if they have again killed someone,” continues “168 Zham.” “They will be reminded of that only if they commit a more serious crime of thinking independently.”
“There are dozens of political prisoners in Armenia,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Why are Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian so scared of them?” The paper believes that they hardly fear being overthrown by the arrested oppositionists. “Maybe they think that by releasing these people they would strengthen the [opposition] movement,” it says. “The movement is already strong and does not seem to lack leaders. So what is the reason? The real reasons seems to be rather psychological. Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian understand that each of the political prisoners is much stronger than they in terms of intellectual capabilities and fear that strength.”
“The mechanism for the repressions taking place of late is such that the police are trying to prove that a particular person took part in [opposition] rallies, while people [detained by police] are at pains to prove that they did not,” writes “Hraparak.” “In effect, in our extremely law-based and Council of Europe member country participation in rallies has become a crime and presence in Liberty Square an irrefutable evidence of that crime.”
“Azg” heaps praise on former Transport and Communication Minister Andranik Manukian, saying that he is “one of the few Armenian statesmen who collect paintings.” “Armenia’s largest art collectioner has been buying paintings for 30 years with love and enthusiasm,” writes the paper.