“For some reason, we, citizens of Armenia, are inclined to think that the police, rather than the [opposition] youths, are to blame,” “Hraparak” writes, commenting on the arrest of seven activists of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). “The police are thought to act in accordance with their habits: they beat, insulted and provoked the incident.” The paper dismisses police video of the detainees swearing at law-enforcement officers in police custody. “Even in that nervous state, the boys didn’t do any particularly terrible things. On the contrary, they tried to restrain themselves,” it says, accusing the police of failing to properly perform their duties.
Writing in his newspaper, “Haykakan Zhamanak” editor and HAK member Nikol Pashinian pounces on police chief Alik Sargsian’s Thursday remark that he does not want to “resort to extreme measures” in connection with the activists’ arrest. “In any normal country, no police chief would have afforded making such a statement,” says Pashinian. “If this was said by the leader of a criminal gang, I would understand. But the police chief of the Republic of Armenia?”
“Zhoghovurd” publishes an interview with Ruben Gevorgian, an outspoken parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), a junior partner in the country’s governing coalition. Gevorgian emphatically rejects HAK allegations that he is engaged in illegal entrepreneurial activities along with dozens of other pro-government deputies. He recalls his participation in the 1991-1994 war in Nagorno-Karabakh and subsequent management of Yerevan’s Davitashen district.
“There are problems within our state, our society that are being cited by the opposition,” Samvel Nikoyan, a parliament speaker affiliated with President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Iravunk.” “What is wrong with putting into practice those [opposition] approaches that correspond to the government’s approaches? After all, the opposition reflects the opinion of a part of the society.” Nikoyan believes that the Sarkisian administration’s dialogue with the HAK has already produced “positive results.”