(Saturday, August 16)
“Aravot” believes that a senior police officer, Stepan Manukian, seriously undermined the Armenian authorities’ coup case against the opposition when he admitted on Friday that there were no fingerprints on weapons which the police claim to have found in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on March 1. “Note that the footage [of the police operation] broadcast by TV companies for 20 consecutive days did not show that [the weapons] were possessed by demonstrators,” says the paper. “Those pistols, batons and sticks were handled and turned around not by demonstrators but police officers.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” admits that those weapons can hardly be used as incriminating evidence in court. The government-funded paper says that law-enforcement bodies have yet to clarify who used or was supposed to use them.
“Hayk” describes Manukian’s statements as a “stunning revelation.” “Even members of the [governing] coalition accepted the obvious truth: peaceful demonstrators were never armed and were not going to take violent actions,” comments the paper. “Therefore those who ordered the use of force against peaceful demonstrators must be brought to justice as soon as possible … One is left to assert that the police themselves planted the weapons in the square and the nearby bush and grass so that those could be attributed to the opposition.”
“Hraparak” say that continuing bans on opposition rallies, which are not enforced by the police, are only boosting the morale of opposition supporters. “Those bans give nothing [to the authorities,] neither in the legal nor moral senses,” says the paper. “They can only put the authorities in an even more ludicrous and shaky position. They show the public that there isn’t a single smart person in the government ranks to understand that those steps are only discrediting the already discredited authorities.”
“168 Zham” says that President Serzh Sarkisian may have been wrong not to cut short his vacation in China but his “passivity” on the Russian-Georgian war is justified. “As a rule, feeling redundant in major international projects is a component of our national inferiority complex,” sys the paper.
“The Russian leadership has not attained his main goal: the resignation of [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili’s, regime change in Georgia, and Georgia’s renunciation of NATO membership,” writes “Aravot.” “The opposite is probably the case. Georgia’s military losses are greater than Russia’s. At the same time Russia’s international, financial and moral losses are much greater than Georgia’s.”