(Saturday, July 29)
Ashot Melikian of the Yerevan-based Committee to Protect Freedom of Speech, tells “Past” that the Armenian authorities are not doing enough to identify and prosecute those responsible for violence against journalists. Melikian singles out the July 2016 beatings of dozens of journalists who were covering demonstrations held in support of opposition gunmen occupying a police station in Yerevan. He describes as “extremely unsatisfactory” criminal investigations into those incidents. “At any rate, the freest period for the [Armenian] media was the early 1990s,” adds Melikian.
Ashot Manukian, a representative of the Vanadzor branch of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance, tells “Hraparak” that unlike other opposition groups the HAK targets only the authorities. “We have not criticized a specific opposition force,” he says. “It’s possible that some people [affiliated with the HAK] expressed their subjective views … Having said that, I want to make clear that a political force which claims to be in opposition but is not demanding the current authorities’ resignation cannot be regarded by me as a genuine opposition force.”
“Aravot” comments on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s controversial decision to strip Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili of Ukrainian citizenship. The paper says that most Armenians have positive attitudes towards Saakashvili because of his accomplishments in Georgia. “Georgia has indeed changed since the  Rose Revolution,” it says. It adds, though, the positive changes there should not be attributed not only to Saakashvili.