“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes an unnamed senior Armenian prosecutor as noting that its editor-in-chief, Nikol Pashinian, is the only opposition leader who was convicted of organizing “mass disturbances” and remains in prison. Sasun Mikaelian, another oppositionist serving an eight-year prison sentence, would have been free now had he not been also found guilty of illegal arms possession, he says. The paper quotes the prosecutor as admitting that this is “another irrefutable proof” of Pashinian being a political prisoner.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says most Armenians find unconvincing statements by various officials defending controversial government decisions. “What is more, they are even mocked in some cases,” says the paper. “Communication between the authority and the society is disrupted,” it says. “Popular upheavals almost always start after the population stops listening to government representatives … As a rule, it is the authority which is to blame for that.”
“The [opposition] Armenian National Congress is declaring a social struggle, forgetting the fact that the plunder of the population started under the [former ruling] HHSh,” writes “Kapital.” “Having taken on a legal form, it has now turned into a social terror. It is also difficult to believe that, having no serious economic program, the Congress will be able to fight for social or any other causes.” The paper says at the same time that all this is causing Armenians to lose faith in themselves and believe that regime change is the only way to achieve change in the country. “This is a primitive and naïve approach,” it says.
“Aravot” reports that the top decision-making body of the Council of Europe discussed the political situation in Armenia at a meeting in Strasbourg last week. In particular, the Committee of Ministers looked into Yerevan’s compliance with the European Court ruling on the closure of the A1+ TV station. The paper says the Armenian authorities assured the committee that A1+ will get another chance to return to the air in tenders for broadcasting licenses which are due to resume this July.
David Hovannisian, a well-known scholar and a member of the former Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, tells “Zhamanak” that the United States is playing the Armenian genocide recognition card to “send the Turks a certain message.” “The Turks are getting that message and acting the way they want to,” he says. “What business can Armenia have here?” Hovannisian believes that the dispatch of Armenian parliamentarians to Washington ahead of last week’s U.S. congressional committee vote on the genocide resolution was meant to tell ordinary Armenians not to distract their government with their grievances.