(Saturday, June 30)
The death of military doctor Vahe Avetian, who was beaten up by at a Yerevan restaurant on June 17, makes front-page headlines in Saturday’s Armenian newspapers.
“This is a matter of the society’s survival and it is the society that must fight for the punishment of the guilty,” writes “Zhamanak.” “It’s not just about legal responsibility because there are also those bearing moral responsibility. Namely, those who formed, strengthened and institutionalized this system. They are now enjoying it and cynically stating that we are all responsible for such tragedies.”
“Words are powerless to describe what the healthy segment of our society feels now,” says “Hraparak.” “Unlimited outrage and a sense of impotence, regret and a desire for revenge is brewing in many people’s hearts.”
Davit Babayan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh’s President Bako Sahakian, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that the presidential election campaign in the territory is taking place peacefully and without tension. “People are properly attending events held as part of candidates’ election campaigns,” he says. “A level playing field has been ensured by 100 percent. All the candidates are able to meet voters and present their programs.”
Interviewed by “Yerkir,” Deputy Justice Minister Ruben Melikian admits that pre-trial detentions routinely sanctioned by Armenian judges remain a problem in the country as evidenced by the latest rulings handed down by the European Court of Human Rights. But he claims that there is progress in this area as judges now have to substantiate their decisions to allow law-enforcement bodies to keep criminal suspects under arrest. In that regard, Melikian stresses the need for giving courts even more discretionary authority to decide whether a suspect should be released pending trial.
“Aravot” laments the lack of government support for Armenia’s agricultural sector, saying that many governments around the world give farmers subsidies, low-interest loans, tax exemptions and other privileges. “Why are states doing that?” says the paper. “For a very simple reason. Everywhere -- be it the United States, Belgium, Brazil or Australia --- it’s a matter of national security. When land, rather than money invested in some bank, is the source of a person’s income, he clings to that land and wants his children and grandchildren to live in that land. He is also ready to defend that land.”