“Aravot” says the Armenian media has again been branded “not free” by the New York-based Freedom House but government officials and other individuals who are in a position to control it do not seem particularly worried about that. The paper also complains that Armenian society still does not understand why it should enjoy press freedom in the first place. “And yet freedom of media and speech in general has an extremely large practical significance which is worth fighting for,” it writes, urging readers to simply imagine what would happen if Armenia’s television stations provided truthful reports about widespread corruption and injustice.
“Taregir” reports that Surik Khachatrian, the controversial governor of the southeastern Syunik region, has been sacked by the government and replaced by Deputy Transport Minister Hrant Beglarian. However, Beglarian does not confirm the information for the moment, telling the paper that if he is formally offered the job he will “think.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Khachatrian sill soon be appointed as deputy minister for local government.
“Aravot” reveals that one of Khachatrian’s bodyguards and relatives had a violent argument with an army officer at a restaurant in the Syunik town of Goris on April 28. “The officer had to fire a warning shot to restrain the omnipotent men close to the governor,” reveals the paper. It also says that Khachatrian, nicknamed Liska, has reportedly been relieved of his duties. “But this long-overdue decision has not been officially publicized yet.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Monday’s low-key celebrations in Armenia of a public holiday officially known as Labor Day highlight public indifference to worker rights and solidarity.
“Iravunk” says May Day is an “absolutely meaningless holiday” for Armenia, pointing to its huge unemployment and widespread violations of workers’ rights. The paper notes that the only thing that made Monday feel like a holiday is the fact that it was a non-working day. There was also a small demonstration in Yerevan organized by the Armenian Communist Party.
“What workers are they talking about?” asks “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “The workers of a handful of factories who are unable to even eat three times a day with their salaries? But all of those factories belong to oligarchs, whereas the working masses not only work in slavery-like conditions but also lack elementary political freedoms. From time to time, factory owners herd them to elections and government rallies.”