“Hraparak” reports that Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General celebrated on Tuesday the 90th anniversary of its creations with an official event that saw President Serzh Sarkisian hand state awards. “Who do you think got them?” the paper asks readers. “The most worthy and most intelligent officials? The ones who solved the most crimes? No, the ones who served the authorities the most.” The paper says most of the awarded prosecutors played a key role in the prosecution and imprisonment of scores of opposition supporters. “Instead of identifying and punishing those guilty of the March 1 slaughter and clarifying the real causes of the murder of ten persons, the authorities are rewarding law-enforcers who carried out a political persecution of the opposition,” it concludes grimly.
“When a part of our society stops lying that those arrested as part of the March 1 case are criminals or, as they say more mildly, ‘the investigation will clear up everything’ and another part stops being indifferent … there will be no political prisoners in Armenia,” editorializes “Aravot.” “If only Ter-Petrosian supporters demand the release of political prisoners, the authorities will always be able to say, ‘Members of Levon’s gang want their friends to get out of jails.’ If all normal persons admit that the arrested individuals expressed some ideas, no matter how flawed and unacceptable, and are in prison for those ideas, the problem will be immediately solved.”
“Azg” contends that Ter-Petrosian and his entourage have not abandoned their plans to “come to power by means of destabilization.” “For their part, the authorities must not contribute to a renewed escalation of tensions,” says the paper. “Their constant refusal to authorize rallies is absolutely unacceptable.” It says the authorities have still not explained why they banned Ter-Petrosian’s last rally outside Yerevan’s Matenadaran museum only to permit it at the last minute. “This was, to say the least, an unserious approach that must not be repeated,” concludes “Azg.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” is concerned about Armenia’s widening trade deficit which contrasts with government pledges to spur exports and thereby create more jobs. “That deficit stood at $686 million in the first five months of last year and surged to $1.14 billion in the first five months of this year,” explains the paper. “That means our competitiveness is sharply down from last year’s level.” It says Armenian exports rose by a meager 0.2 percent while imports jumped by more than 40 percent in January-May 2008.