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Press Review


(Saturday, 28 June)

“Members of the Armenian government delegation at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly will probably get medals or even higher state awards,” “Aravot” editorializes with sarcasm, commenting on the PACE’s latest resolution on Armenia. The paper says they deserve credit for enabling the authorities to keep opposition members in prison for several more months, to continue to ban opposition rallies and keep the independent TV station A1+ off the air.

Grigor Amalian, head of the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the European Court’s recent ruling on A1+’s appeal was not unequivocally against his regulatory body. “I hope that slander directed against our commission and country will at last be stopped,” Amalian says, referring to A1+’s efforts to resume broadcasts.

“Zhamanak Yerevan” continues to publish eyewitness accounts of the March 1 clashes in Yerevan between riot police and opposition supporters. One witness is quoted as saying that he saw a police colonel firing at protesters from a pistol. “I couldn’t see who fell as a result of his shots,” he says, adding that moments later several wounded men were dragged away from the street. “One of them had a big blood spot on his stomach. Clearly he was shot. But even in that condition he was punched and kicked by police officers. I doubt that those wounded men stayed alive.”

“The prime minister [Tigran Sarkisian] says he knows the names of those people who are trying to interfere in the work of the tax and customs bodies,” writes “Hayk.” “He knows but doesn’t name them. Knowing about a crime but not reporting it is also a crime [under Armenian law.] [Sarkisian’s behavior] can be described as a means of blackmail. If the prime minister is not publicizing the data he has, then what does he expect from his subordinates or citizens of Armenia? Isn’t this further proof that the vicious phenomenon of crime cover-up originates from the top?”

“168 Zham” also thinks that Tigran Sarkisian and members of his cabinet know a lot about government corruption in Armenia. “And everyone feels safe and secure because what we have is not isolated bribery but corruption involving all high-ranking state officials,” says the paper, adding that nothing will change unless 10-15 of them are arrested in front of TV cameras.

(Armen Dulian)
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