“Zhoghovurd” condemns the “trumped-up” accusations levelled against Zhirayr Sefilian and five other leaders of the Founding Parliament opposition movement. “Right from the beginning it was clear that the Investigative Committee will keep Zhirayr Sefilian and his comrades in jail on trumped-up charges as long as it is told to,” writes the paper. “But when the Armenian authorities paraded a handcuffed Sefilian on the street [on Thursday] they also sent a clear message to the public: ‘This is the fate awaiting heroes ready to sacrifice themselves for Armenia.’”
“Hraparak” is also angered by the demonstrative transportation of the jailed oppositionists to the Investigative Committee headquarters in Yerevan. “What gave the law-enforcers reason to conclude that Zhirayr Sefilian and his comrades are plotting mass riots?” asks the paper. “The fact that they applied for [an official permission to] hold a rally on April 24? The fact that they adopted the ‘Centenary without the regime’ slogan? The fact that they speak of regime change? But these facts cannot be deemed evidence of their criminal intentions.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that this week’s parliamentary debates in Yerevan revealed that Russia’s Gazprom gas monopoly has been “plundering” Armenians through inflated capital investments and other expenditures reported by Armenia’s gas distribution network owned by it. “It also became clear during the discussions that Gazprom has been doing that with the consent and backing of Armenia’s authorities,” reports the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Armenia fell sharply in the first quarter of this year. Citing unnamed government sources, the paper says that FDI inflows were particularly “negligible” in the energy, mining and agricultural sectors. “The total investments do not exceed $10 million,” it says. “This indicator stood at $120-150 million during the same period of the last few years.”
“We will not end our struggle with the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide,” deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” Sharmazanov says that the forthcoming centenary commemorations will be followed by a “more decisive and mature” Armenian campaign for international recognition of the genocide.