“Aravot” wonders whether the seven young activists of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) arrested on Tuesday had the right to confront police officers carrying out identity checks on the street and knew the law well. “Are the policemen obliged to explain their actions to them?” asks the paper. “If so, maybe it would make sense to hand over power to the HAK’s ‘revolutionary committees?’”
But Mikael Danielian, a human rights campaigner, defends the arrested youths. “Does a policeman have the right to demand an identity document from a citizen walking on a street in Yerevan at night or search or reprimand them?” he tells “Aravot.” “There was nothing illegal in the young people’s actions. They think that they know the law better and try to help others in such cases. I welcome that as well as the fact that the young people know their rights well. They should have just kept in mind what awaits oppositionists like them.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says kiosks in Yerevan are now facing closure despite surviving in a “harsh and unequal competition” with supermarkets that are owned by wealthy entrepreneurs backed by the government. The opposition paper says in an editorial that Mayor Karen Karapetian’s decision to shut down many of them is aimed at benefiting the supermarket owners.
In an interview with “Zhoghovurd,” Vahan Hovannisian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) attacks the HAK, saying that the political force led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian has no moral right to speak of “restoring constitutional order.” “These people plundered this country during their rule so hard that the results of that are still visible,” he says in response to HAK claims that he is one 76 deputies engaged in business activities in violation of the law. Hovannisian calls those claims a “fraud.” “Even if I had 50 or 500 hectares of land, that would not be illegal,” he says.
The pro-opposition online journal 1in.am expresses concern about Armenia’s rising public debt, saying that it is approaching a dangerous level of 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product. “We are playing with the future of our country and our children?” alleges the publication.