“Haykakan Zhamanak” is dissatisfied with the Armenian authorities’ response to death threats made against Marianna Grigorian, the editor of the Medialab.am publication. The paper says that law-enforcement bodies only reluctantly opened a criminal case in connection with those threats. It says that they had just as reluctantly identified and prosecuted a man who beat up an opposition parliamentarian in Yerevan a few years ago. That man never went to prison. “This is a mentality befitting the Middle Age,” says the paper.
“Zhamanak” comments on a government bill that would seriously restrict the next Armenia president’s power to grant pardons. “It is not accidental that there is bitter infighting in the higher echelons of power regarding who will control one of the main segments of the [ruling] system: the criminal underworld,” claims the paper. Pardons granted in Armenia have never been about justice and humanism, it says.
“Zhoghovurd” accuses the government of presenting misleading data to prove that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian has delivered on his pledge to attract at least $830 million in investments Armenia’s public infrastructure and businesses last year. Karapetian said in the parliament on Wednesday that the actual investments exceeded that figure. The paper points to official statistics showing that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Armenia fell short of government projections and was mainly channeled into the Armenian mining sector. The government, it says, has used a flawed methodology to report a much higher investment total, which includes money spent by the government.
“Hraparak” complains that Armenians are now unwilling to take to the streets and protest against their government in large number. The paper sees a sharp contrast with 1988 when huge crowds gathered in Yerevan to demand Karabakh’s unification with Armenia despite stern warnings issued by the Soviet authorities. “People were not scared of the Moscow Politburo and the tanks brought by it,” it says.