(Saturday, June 5)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a group of human rights activists visited on Friday Davit Kiramijian, a young activist of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) who was arrested during an opposition protest in Yerevan on Monday and later charged with “hooliganism.” One of the activists, Mikael Danielian, is quoted as saying that Kiramijian is “not subdued at all” despite having some health issues. The paper says that several years ago Kiramijian underwent serious foot surgery and is still recovering from it. “As a result, Davit needs constant medical attention, notably medical massage, to maintain the mobility of his foot,” it says.
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Hovannes Sahakian, accuses HAK loyalists of attempting to “seize” Yerevan’s Liberty Square with the help of unnamed external forces. “These are roughly 20-strong mobile groups trained in certain foreign camps,” claims Sahakian. “The only task of its members dressed in white clothes is to provoke clashes with law-enforcers. The filming of all this is also organized.” Sahakian goes on to accuse HAK youths of verbally abusing police officers.
“Aravot” joins Armenian press freedom groups in demanding that the National Commission on Television and Radio (HRAH) be legally obliged to explain rejection of broadcasting license applications lodged by TV companies. The paper says both the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as well as some Armenian parliamentarians agree with this demand. Nonetheless, the Armenian government and Economy Minister Nerses Yeritsian in particular continue to oppose “that simple and logical provision.” “And that is not an accidental stubbornness,” editorializes the paper. “There will be more [license] tenders in the months to come and the commission of puppets will naturally again refuse to give A1+ a license.”
“Kapital” reports that Armenia’s Russian-managed national railway company has decided to shut down several railway stations across the country. A company spokesman is quoted as saying that the closure will not be permanent and irreversible. The rail network is simply “optimizing expenditures” at the moment, he says. The paper questions these assurances, however, saying that the company’s director general, Shevket Shaydulin, has ordered the dismantling of electricity supply facilities at those stations.