“Haykakan Zhamanak” condemns a lengthy prison sentence given by an Armenian court to opposition activist Zhirayr Sefilian on Tuesday, calling it further proof of “the absence of justice” in Armenia. The paper believes that prosecutors failed to come up with “convincing evidence” in support of their accusations that Sefilian and his supporters plotted an armed revolt against the government. “This is selective justice,” it says, adding that unlike opposition figures, government loyalists get away with murders and other serious crimes.
“Zhoghovurd” likens Sefilian’s trial to a “poorly staged tragicomedy.” “Sefilian was not allowed to be present at most court hearings and the judge deprived him of his right to deliver his final remarks,” writes the paper. “And yesterday’s verdict came to prove the simple truth that the opposition figure is subjected to injustice.”
“Serzh Sarkisian decides to attack,” reads a headline in “Zhamanak.” The paper links the “strict and demonstrative” verdict against Sefilian to Sarkisian’s effective announcement this week that he will become Armenia’s prime minister next month. It says “Sarkisian seems to be demonstrating that he is determined to counter attempts to prevent his premiership through upheavals or other extraordinary means.” The outgoing president, it says, at the same time is also challenging disgruntled Armenians to take to the streets and try to scuttle his plans.
“Hraparak” scoffs at Sarkisian’s stated plans to gradually transfer more powers to “young political leaders.” The paper says that the relatively young individuals holding key positions in his administration do not quite inspire trust in the country’s democratic future.