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Press Review


“Aravot” dismisses as too soft a report on the trials of Armenian opposition activists that was released this week by the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). (The report said those trials exposed “shortcomings” in the Armenian judiciary.) “A shortcoming is when a judge makes a wrong decision because of a lack of professionalism or even impartiality,” editorializes the paper. “There are plenty of such shortcomings in the judicial systems of both America and Europe. But when a judge is clearly not going to listen to parties’ arguments, has no intention to weigh them up and comes to the court with a ready verdict issued from above, that is not a shortcoming. That, we dare say, is a complete absence of any [judicial] system.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that the recent frequent visits to Armenia by famous European and American artists result from the Armenian authorities’ PR efforts to address their “legitimacy deficit.” “Obviously, the visits of artistic celebrities bring organizers no commercial benefits,” says the pro-opposition daily. By inviting them to Armenia, it says, “some government circles gain a means to enhance their own value.”

“Modern politics is also show business, more or less,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” It points to a class-action suit against the gas hike price planned by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK).

“Hayk” comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to France. The opposition paper says French leaders will spell out their “expectations” from Sarkisian on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and discuss with him Turkish-Armenian relations. It claims that Paris is not interested in the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border. “That way, it will be much easier to prevent Turkey’s entry into the European Union,” it says. The paper goes on to blast French President Nicolas Sarkozy for receiving a “dictator” like Sarkisian. “Let us not forget the fact that the tragic events of March 1 took place near the French embassy in Yerevan,” it reasons.

(Tigran Avetisian)
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