“Zhamanak” carries an editorial on the tenth anniversary of the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan, which left ten people dead. “Ten years on, the situation in Armenia is similar and many wonder whether there will be another March 1, whether the authorities will again use firearms against people trying to protect their rights,” writes the paper. It also points out that nobody has been prosecuted in connection with the ten deaths.
“Ten years ago to the day Armenia’s citizens revolted against injustice, fraud, plunder, abuse, and impunity,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “They revolted and set an unprecedented example of resistance. They resisted as much as possible. They resisted more than it was possible. The authorities managed to overcome the resistance of unarmed citizens only with weapons, by shooting and killing people in the center of Yerevan. The authorities won. Forty days later Serzh Sarkisian took office. The murderers have still not been identified and punished.” The paper says that Sarkisian’s ten-year rule has been a gross failure.
“Zhoghovurd” reports that Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has assured a senior UN human rights official that the Armenian government is committed to strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, boosting judicial independence and implementing other reforms. “Nalbandian spoke of strengthening democracy in the context of constitutional changes enacted in Armenia,” says the paper. It dismisses Nalbandian’s statement as hypocritical, saying that the Armenian authorities continue to systematically “trample democratic values underfoot, violate human rights, and enforce the law arbitrarily.”
“Aravot” quotes Tigran Atanesian, a lawyer highly critical of the Armenian government, as saying that the newly formed Supreme Judicial Council will not help to make Armenian courts more independent. Atanesian is skeptical about the choice of five of the ten members of the council elected by Armenia’s parliament. He says that they were handpicked by the ruling HHK and will be “accountable” to the latter.