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Press Review


“You don’t have to be an opposition supporter in order to acknowledge the existence of political prisoners in Armenia,” Aram Abrahamian, the editor-in-chief of “Aravot,” writes in an editorial. “I, for example, don’t like the current opposition’s actions, neither in the political nor purely political senses. There is nothing liberal or democratic about forcing everyone to walk to their tune and threatening to put them to shame in the process … But it’s one thing to politically disagree with the opposition and another to reject or justify the evident fact of the illegal persecution of its leaders and activists.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” slams the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) for planning a class-action lawsuit against the Armenian authorities stemming from the suppression of February-March 2008 opposition protests in Yerevan. The pro-government paper says that the alliance led by Levon Ter-Petrosian has made legal action a habit. “Ter-Petrosian’s Congress is not a political structure but a law firm,” it says scornfully.

Lragir.am says the recent non-combat deaths in the Armenian army broke an unofficial taboo that had long been maintained by the Armenian media. “The army generals are not asking themselves why that taboo was broken and the army turned from a sanctity into a social phenomenon that can be discussed and criticized,” writes the online journal. It claims the reason for that is not only the fatal incidents but also the army’s involvement in the 2008 crackdown on the Ter-Petrosian-led opposition.

In an interview with “Kapital,” parliament deputy Naira Zohrabian insists that there are “no serious disagreements” between her Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). She says BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian “never violates the rules of the game.” “But we have said and must repeat that if any incorrect step is taken against us, then Prosperous Armenia is not the kind of a political force that allows others to make even incorrect formulations about us and receive no answer,” adds Zohrabian.

“Zhamanak” contends that alleged tensions between the HHK and the BHK are rising. The paper recalls violent clashes between the two parties’ activists that took place in the run-up to the 2007 parliamentary elections. “Nevertheless, the parties’ elites calmly sat down and divided [parliament] mandates after the elections,” it says. “Aren’t we seeing history repeat itself?”

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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