“Aravot” quotes Hovannes Hunanian, deputy chief of the Armenian police, as “effectively” saying that opposition protesters that gathered in Yerevan on March 1 sought to kill him. The paper says Hunanian was irked when asked why not a single law-enforcement official has been arrested in connection with the deaths of at least eight civilians. “Go and tell everyone that we stood there peacefully, they came to beat us, they got smashed and that’s why we have this situation,” Hunanian tells the paper. “You understand? They came to kill us.”
Writing in “Zhamanak Yerevan,” columnist Tigran Paskevichian asks Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian to explain why demonstrators were chased, beaten and arrested in the morning of March 1 hundreds of meters away from Liberty Square. “If the goal was, as Kocharian put it, to ‘clear’ the square, why were the fleeing people pursued and how did they resist the police while fleeing?” asks Paskevichian.
“Hayk” believes that despite a legal requirement to be neutral and apolitical Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General is “actively engaged in political processes.” “It is doing everything to punish or discredit the opposition and to defend the authorities,” says the opposition paper. It points to the law-enforcement agency’s strong criticism of a recent report issued by human rights Ombudsman Armen Harutiunian. (The latter questioned the official rationale for the use of force against protesters on March 1.)
Citing senior government officials and other sources, “168 Zham” reports that rampant corruption within the Armenian customs has all but disappeared since last month’s harsh criticism of its operations voiced by President Serzh Sarkisian. “Namely, everyone, including high-ranking officials, admits the fact that employees of the Customs Committee, to put it mildly, took bribes before [Sarkisian’s] visit,” notes the paper.
“About a dozen ambassadors who represented Armenia in various countries did not return to Armenia and stayed abroad after the end of their tenure,” writes “Hraparak.” Those include the former Armenian ambassadors to Argentina, Canada, Belarus, Russia, Britain, Lebanon, Italy, Greece and the United Nations. “According to our information, during their tenure they used their status of ambassador to create a certain economic base for leading a prosperous life,” claims the paper.