(Saturday, May 1)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” asks more questions about the April 13 suspicious death of a young man in Armenian police custody. The paper wonders in particular why the police have not covered the prosecution of two Charentsavan police officers, arrested in connection with the death, in their weekly crime reports aired by state television. “Is that so because the chief of the Armenian police, Alik Sargsian, spread overtly false information about the incident after Vahan Khalafian’s death, claiming that there were no traces of torture on Vahan’s body? If Alik Sargsian was given wrong information by his police subordinates, then he has no right to be police chief, then he is a weak and faceless official who is manipulated by his own subordinates.” The Armenian public is “sick and tired of police lies,” concludes the paper.
“Aravot” compares public perceptions of May Day that existed before and after the Soviet era. “Who is a better person: a Communist party boss hiding his wealth or an oligarch flaunting his wealth?” editorializes the paper. “A career-minded member of the Communist youth league or [the Armenian pro-government youth movement] Baze? A Communist not believing in Lenin or a Republican unfamiliar with [the Armenian nationalist leader Garegin] Nzhdeh? That’s a matter of taste.”
“The labor holiday does not seem to be an ingenuous one these days,” writes “Hraparak.” “Work is different, and workers have neither the desire nor the mood to celebrate. And state bodies have shrunk so much that not working on that day (May 1) remains the privilege of several dozen thousand people. As for private organizations, the holiday is generally ignored by them. If there is work to be done and profit to be made, the employer will definitely make people work and the worker usually doesn’t care about such showy things. Getting paid is already a holiday.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” criticizes the New York-based group Freedom House for again describing the Armenian media as “not free” in its latest global report. “Nobody knows what this organization’s evaluation criteria are,” says the pro-government paper. It accuses Freedom House of being biased against those countries where attempts to stage Western-backed “color revolutions” have failed. Freedom House is more of a “political” than human rights group, it concludes.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” claims that a huge section of the Armenian political class is thrilled to see parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian lose his political clout and be allegedly distrusted by President Serzh Sarkisian. The paper says Abrahamian is no longer seen as the number two figure in the country’s leadership.