(Saturday, October 30)
“Zhamanak” dismisses the expulsion of leaders of a small Turkish political party from Armenia as a “farce” which shows that Armenian security services are only good at “controlling their own dissident citizens.” The paper says that if the Turks really posed a security threat, they should not have been allowed to enter the country or make political statements there in the first place. It also wonders whether Armenia’s National Security Service will question Russian border guards and verify the Turks’ claims that they recently crossed the Turkish-Armenian border.
Writing in “Hraparak,” opposition-linked human rights activist Vartan Harutiunian says that the surprise release of opposition activist Ashot Manukian from prison suggests that the other “political prisoners” might also be set free soon. Harutiunian claims at the same time that the Armenian authorities lack “the intelligence and prudence to do that very quickly and properly.” The authorities, he says, will have to free all of the jailed oppositionists because of the continuing public pressure, rather than their good will. They must also compensate and apologize to the oppositionists, he adds.
“Azg” accuses Azerbaijan of acting against the letter and spirit of the latest joint declaration issued by the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents last week. The paper says Azerbaijani forces again violated the ceasefire regime near Nagorno-Karabakh. It says Baku is thereby “admitting that Karabakh is an independent state and that no humanitarian declarations were signed with the Karabakh side.”
Armen Ashrafian, a senior prosecutor overseeing criminal cases on corruption and organized crime, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that it is “extremely difficult” to detect bribery and other corruption-related crimes and punish individuals responsible for them. “Because we have individuals who have given a bribe and want to get what they want by illegal means and we have officials who take bribes and take illegal actions in favor of the bribe givers,” says Ashrafian. “Often times, when it comes to the manifestations of such bribery, there are no other individuals -- witnesses -- [willing to come forward.]”
Citing residents of the southern Ararat region, “168 Zham” says that a winery belonging to businessman Gagik Tsarukian will buy grapes from local farmers only if they or their family members agree to join his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). “Some of them agree to do that,” says the paper.