(Saturday, April 11)
“No matter how hard the government propagandists try, they just can’t present any concrete result of Serzh Sarkisian’s one-year rule,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
“Armenia has only experienced regress, weakening and depression over the past year. Nothing else. And that has happened in all spheres of public life, without any exception.” The opposition paper claims that the Sarkisian administration is “devoid of any resource necessary for registering progress.” It says a possible opening of the Turkish-Armenian border would be Sarkisian’s only tangible achievement.
“Aravot” comments on the violent dispersal of daily gatherings of small groups of opposition supporters on Yerevan’s Northern Avenue. “It looks as though our authorities and in particular police have not yet determined what public order means and against whom it should be protected,” editorializes the paper. “For example, they still don’t know when and how one should walk down Northern Avenue in a way that would make it, so to speak, a legal stroll.” It says that anyone walking there these days risks being approached by police officers and told to explain what they are up to.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Armenian society is primarily troubled by a “mass sense of social injustice, lack of protection and fear of the future.” Accordingly, says the paper, most Armenians fret over “restoring justice, unmasking lies, protecting the weak and leading dignified lives.”
“Hayk” says Armenia will celebrate Easter on April 12 with “prisons full of political prisoners” and continuing “disgraceful trials.” “The regime has never managed to clear its sins and continues to commit new ones and condemn a whole people to suffering,” says the paper. It says declaring a general amnesty for all arrested opposition members ahead of the holiday would have been “the most appropriate decision” on the part of the government. “If [Serzh Sarkisian] is really not afraid of free speech and wants to bring down the wall of misunderstanding, then why didn’t he take that step? He didn’t because he is scared and commits new mistakes in fear.”