“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on prosecutors’ official announcement that a senior police officer who tipped off Levon Ter-Petrosian and his allies about the imminent break-up of their tent camp in Yerevan has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence. According to prosecutors, the officer, Armen Nikoghosian, did so less than seven hours before hundreds of security forces began what the authorities call an attempt to search for weapons hidden in the square. The paper agues if Ter-Petrosian had really stashed weapons there he would have had enough time to remove them before the police moved in. “But the reality is that the demonstrators had nothing to do with those weapons which were being detected in Liberty Square before cameras after the beating of the demonstrators,” it says.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” is “appalled” by the ongoing trials of opposition members arrested in late February and March. The opposition paper says those who organize and conduct those trials are “enemies of the state.” “To enslave judicial bodies in this way is simply anti-state, anti-national and anti-Armenian,” it says. “In modern-day Armenia civil rights are routinely violated and nobody is held accountable for that. Only opposition representatives are sentenced in courts … whereas those policemen and masked men who took barbaric actions against them face no punishment,” it adds.
“Hayots Ashkhar” scoffs at the word “popular” commonly used by Ter-Petrosian and his comrades in reference to their opposition movement. The pro-government paper claims that only one percent of the country’s population really supports them. “Yes, only one percent,” it says. “Because others are deceived voters masses that harbor unrealistic hopes and are filled with hatred or revenge. Come to think of it, can 20 percent of Armenians sympathize with a man who propagates pro-Turkishness and turns Armenians against each other?”
“Hayk” comments on the Armenian authorities’ apparent decision to deport Lebanese-Armenian activist Zhirayr Sefilian, noting that Diaspora Armenians who visited Nagorno-Karabakh during the war with Azerbaijan were never asked about their citizenship. “At that time [Karabakh] army commander Samvel Babayan would not even imagine that his pistol presented to the commander of the special Shushi battalion, Zhirayr Sefilian, will be deemed illegal years later and will be used as evidence for sentencing Sefilian to prison,” says the paper. “Those who are sentencing Sefilian today would not have even dared to think at that time that a gun presented by Babayan may be illegal. Now even Babayan has come to terms with that.”