“Hraparak” berates the Armenian authorities for continuing to hold “political prisoners” more than one year after the last presidential election and not trying to create even a semblance of respect for dissent and human rights. “Not only foreigners but their own people will refuse to cooperate with such authorities,” says the paper. “The society can only harbor disdain and discontent towards such authorities. In these circumstances it is difficult to anticipate that the society will support and defend any government undertaking.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the Zharangutyun party’s decision to steer clear of the May 31 elections in Yerevan and effectively endorse the Armenian National Congress (HAK) reflected serious disagreements between the two opposition forces. “In fact, the differences between the Armenian National Congress and Zharangutyun have all the potential for becoming as chronic as the Arab-Israeli conflict,” says the pro-government daily.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” condemns the three-year prison sentence given to former Deputy Prosecutor-General Gagik Jahangirian, saying that it was ordered by President Serzh Sarkisian. “If you think that this is yet another unjust verdict, you are mistaken,” editorializes the opposition paper. “This verdict has a revolutionary significance, [it creates] a new algorithm for trying any citizen of the Republic of Armenia.” The paper says that all the authorities have to do in order to jail a particular citizen is to have them arrested by the police and charged with resisting a “representative of the state authority.” “Whereas in the past they had to plant drugs in a person’s pockets, put weapons in his car or toilet in order to fabricate a case against him, there is no need whatsoever for such obsolete methods now,” it says.
“Kapital” reports that the nearly 40 percent rise in natural gas prices effective from April 1 will not immediately push up the cost of public transportation in Armenia. The paper quotes Henrik Navasardian, head of the Yerevan municipality’s transport department, as saying that private firms operating bus routes in Yerevan have not yet asked sate regulators to let them raise their fares. He says they still do not know how much liquefied gas supplied by the ArmRosGazprom national gas company will cost starting from next month.