Sunday, December 27, 2009

Authorities' committment to beating youth - condoned by international community?

Just a couple of hours ago, youth activists campaigning for Nikol Pashinyan were attacked and beaten with metal pipes. Five of them were taken to the hospital - three have been released and two are still there.

This is what happens the international community accepts and condones violent governments, and in exchange uses the illegitimacy of these governments as leverage to their own ends. Don't get me wrong. It is not the US, or Switzerland, or Russia, or any of the others who sent their guys to beat up these youth. But these governments, and others, have accepted Sargsyan as president, and work with him. They have accepted Sargsyan, who came to power through illegitimate means, through violence, beatings, imprisonments and shootings.

Please, don't speak of "promoting democracy," "human rights" and "long-term security," when your actions and dealings as international organizations/governments actually promote powerful individuals who beat those who attempt to actually practice such principles.

This is not the first, second, or even tenth time that something like this has happened. And yet, I do not see a flurry of condemnation from the US, Switzerland, or Russia. Not surprising, is it?

But back to this election. Those in Armenia can contribute to the election campaign: see here for details English, here for details in Armenian.

And, it seems the video about Pashinyan is now available in four parts online:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Report on the Report

Well, though they played hooky, it turns out Colombier and Prescott wrote a report. I wonder when they actually wrote it, before the 17th, or after?
The ANC has issued a statement, and, among other news sources, has an article.
The PACE Report on the March 1 Report is available on the PACE website, I've uploaded it here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A nicely choreographed ballet between Hovhannesyan and Badeyan

There was apparently a "debate" between the ARF (represented by Hovhannesyan) and the ruling Republican Party (represented by Manvel Badeyan. Bits of it can be heard on the 19:00 radio broadcast on RFE/RL starting at about 24 minutes, and a short summary is on
The article caught my eye originally because of the title:Opposing Parliamentarians At Least Agree that ‘Hints of Coercion’ Appear in Armenian-Turkish Protocols, which, once I looked at the piece, made me laugh a bit. The ARF and the Republican party representing themselves yet again as opposed to each other. And, for what seems to be the first time, at least that I've seen (and even RFE/RL made a comment that it seemed to be a new stance) the Republican party was mentioning that there were some undesirable components to the Protocols. Here are some cut-and-pastes from the article, strung together:

“From the first day, I have said that the Protocols are not a sparkling product of a stroke of genius.”
yes, there are many things in the Protocols that don’t sit well with us and are simply “tied around our neck.”
“Time is against us.” “It’s not the Protocols that are dangerous. The danger comes from that, that two colleagues appear, one of which is powerful; the other, weak. We should’ve been stronger,”
Furthermore, the RPA member agreed with Hovhannesyan that “edges [hints] of coercion appear” in the Protocols.

the country’s leadership is not sincere. “If that is your initiative, and because of your entreprise, they thrust something or another upon you, withdraw from that entreprise
Hovhannesyan believes that a contradiction has come about. The country’s leadership knows, too, and is beginning to “open its eyes.”

This looks like a show to me - an act put on for naive eyes and ears. The ARF shouts about protocols, the Republican Party says yeah, they're not great, we were pressured. Hovhannisyan seems to say something I actually agree with, then credits the government with "opening its eyes" - a little bit of give and take. Then they both agree they're not great protocols. And they both say Armenia needs to be stronger. What Armenian doesn't think Armenia should be stronger? And among those who do support the protocols, are there any who think they are perfect or ideal? What have these two agreed to, that is so novel, or a step in any direction, and what did they compromise on? Nothing. Its a nice little choreographed ballet.

It has to be. Because it's their doing that the those "things in the protocol" that "dont sit well" are there. It's their doing that unnecessary compromises had to made, and that Armenia was put in a position with her neck sticking out, standing on a 3-legged chair.

Let me put it in terms that the certain "concerned" political parties might understand. It's as though members of Turkey's present government sit back and talk about what a shame it is that there are few Armenians left in Armenia, and how something has to be done about the poor state of Human Rights that minorities have in their country.

It's not En Garde, its En Pointe!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Colombier and Prescott Play Hooky

The PACE Monitoring committee, the one which has been addressing the issues in Armenia, was supposed to address the Report on March 1-2 events on December 17, 2009. That plan has been in place since December 1, at least, that is when the Draft Agenda for the meeting, found on the PACE website, is dated. But somehow, neither of the rapporteurs could make it. Nor was it known or announced ahead of time that they would not be able to make it.
According to Naira Zohrabyan MP, they were both in an urgent session in Copenhagen, and so the issue will be discussed at the Jan 25 meeting. According to Zarouhi Postanjyan, Prescott was in Copenhagen, and Colombier was involved in the French Parliament, and therefore unable to make it. And per Postanjyan, since it was not discussed at the Dec 17 meeting, it may very well not get included onto the Jan agenda.

Sure, maybe there were just urgent events that they both needed to go to. Whether they were in Copenhagen, Paris, or Timbuktu.
But maybe, if they had gone, the would have been put in a very difficult situation- after all, when publicly faced with evidence, it does get more and more difficult to talk your way around the truth, it does get harder to avoid making rational, logical, conclusions... and where would these final decisions leave the European governments represented in PACE? Where would Switzerland, and the rest of these guys, including the US, be, if PACE made steps toward publicly recognizing the absolute barbarity of March 1, highlighting those involved, and moving closer to stating that Sargsyan, with whom they work and collaborate, is an illegitimate ruler, not representing the people then, or now.
Where would that leave them? And how can they keep pressuring Sargsyan, if those steps are made?
Even PACE has become parter of the larger process, the process of trading Sargsyan's legitimacy for unnecessary concessions by Armenia, turning a blind eye to Human Rights and Democracy in Armenia.
I'm not surprised, but that doesn't mean I can't be disappointed.

But, come on, playing hooky from the meeting? Couldn't they come up with something at least a bit more dignified?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Battalion Leader named Muk?

Now, I don't know how much of this war talk is real, or a smokescreen - more stirring of the mud at the bottom of the pond, making it so murky that no one, not even the players themselves at times, can see what on earth is really going on.
But, it hit me the other day, if there was a war, we might end up with a Battalion leader name Muk!
Here's what I imagined. The last war was about 20 years ago - just about a generation. So it will be mainly the new generation, the young ones, who would fight this potential war. But who will lead them? Who will plan strategy, and motivate, and train? Hopefully someone with experience.
It seems the best people to do the job are exactly those who were going on hunger strike in 2008, getting thrown in prison, and getting denied citizenship: Sefilyan, Mikayelyan, Hakobyan, Ayvazyian, Gasparyan, Hatspanyan, Baghdasarian, to name a few, the list goes on.
I don't know if those who have been so ill-treated (a massive understatement) by this government, after having fought for Armenia, would fight again, in an unecessary war brought about through the incompetence of this illegitimate government. Maybe they would - I have no idea.
But who would be left? Guys who have names like, yes, Muk, and Dodi Gago.
So a young, inexperienced generation, knowing full well how this banditocracy treats its war veterans, would go into war, led by someone like Muk.
How motivating.
Great planning, SS.

Aah, I almost forgot. The cherry on top is the statement made by ARF leader Hovannisyan in response to recent statements on the Azerbaijan side regarding a possible war. Hovannisyan, apparently quoting King Leonidas, said "Come and get it." He's watched too much "300" I think. Maybe he should be quoting Theron instead, given the ARF's decisions thus far.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The two planes of existence in Armenia

The video outtakes of the 2008 Presidential Campaign Ads for Serge Sargsyan by Albert Azaryan (Olympic Gymnast) and Hrant Tokhatyan (famous actor) have now become infamous - both of these characters made the mistake of saying what they really felt about the Sargsyan (whom they were endorsing), with the cameras rolling. Azaryan straight out swears at Serge Sargsyan, and Tokhatyan swears at the former Mayor of Yerevan, calling him what literally translates to "faggot" in English, but with possibly even more of a demeaning, vulgar, homophobic, and ignorant tone than it does in English.
Haykakan Zhamanak (08/12/09) points out that these outtakes were not included in the final aired campaign ads for Sargsyan - what was shown to the people of Armenia was a cut-and-pasted product, a montage, not at related to what these so-called endorsers thought or felt. HZH draws a parallel to what has happened and continues to happen in the political trials in Armenia: the prosecution puts together edited bits and pieces from the events of March 1, and uses the produced montage as supposed proof on which to base false guilty verdicts.
In effect, Armenia is living on two completely different planes, the piece argues, that having nothing to do with each other. One of the the real, non-montaged world, and the other, the Serjakan, montaged world.

A very potent analogy, I thought. Of course they wouldnt use the outtakes, thats why they're outtakes - they're not internally consistent, they're mistakes, they don't make sense in the larger scheme of things. Just like true democracy, and human rights don't fit into the grand scheme of things for this banditocracy - in fact, they're pesky ideas that get in the way of the banditocracy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Some basic facts - and its only going to get worse

Below is the translation of the Dec 3 statement from the ANC - just some hard basic facts. There's a lot I want to write about this piece, but, the piece itself says it better...

ANC December 3, 2009 Announcement

With the joint statement of December 1 by five Ministers (including the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia), and subsequently, with the statement that constitutes an official resolution by the OSCE Ministerial Council of 56 countries that convened in Athens, the Republic of Armenia has signed an official document which has taken upon itself to speedily reach an agreement on the fundamental principles for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, an agreement that will be based on three principles established by the Helsinki Final Act:

· Non - utilization of force or the threat of force
· Territorial integrity
· Equal rights and self determination of Peoples

In this way, for the first time Armenia has officially agreed that the Karabakh conflict may be settled within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In this context, the inclusion of the right to self determination of peoples does not in any way diminish or compensate for Armenia’s retreat. The simultaneous application of the principles of territorial integrity and self determination means that regardless how high a level of self-governance is chosen for Nagorno Karabakh, the status will not matter, as it will still be realized within the territorial boundaries of Azerbaijan, that is, Karabakh will be a part of Azerbaijan. In this way, Armenia has agreed to a settlement of the Karabakh issue which has closed the prospect of having the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh ever be internationally recognized as an independent country.

Such a development has consistently been averted since 1992, when Armenia, having become a member of the OSCE, consistently used the right to veto and the power of a potential veto to block any expressions or clauses in international documents that would allow for the settlement of the Karabakh issue based on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. In 1996, during the OSCE Lisbon Summit, when there was an attempt to limit the right of self determination of Nagorno Karabakh by the proposition that such a right be realized within the territorial boundaries of Azerbaijan, the President of the Republic of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian vetoed that draft resolution in spite of unprecedented international pressure and the positions of all of the other countries of the OSCE. In a similar situation, today’s authorities also had the same opportunity, and did not utilize that right. The only explanation for this policy of concessions is the vulnerability of this illegitimate government, which is attempting to compensate for that illegitimacy with deals with the international community sealed by the price of unnecessary concessions on the Karabakh issue. The foundation of this sort of politics was laid in 1999 by Robert Kocharian who, by signing the Istanbul Charter, gave Armenia’s agreement to the general idea of the use of the principle of territorial integrity as the basis of conflict settlement. And in Athens, for the first time, that was applied specifically to the Karabakh conflict.

Over the past two years, the ANC has given warnings on multiple occasions of such dangerous developments; it has also argued that the only way of avoiding such developments is the reestablishment of constitutional order and the removal of the current regime. It is clear that every additional day that this government stays in power pulls Armenia into international obligations that are not derived from the interests of the people, thus making its prompt removal that much more urgent. The ANC will continue its struggle to create a legitimate government in the country, which will be capable of representing the interests of the people in the international arena and of avoiding even further losses.


The original is available at the Armenian National Congress website:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The size of a Grain of Salt

Pashinyan really, really, really, hurt a policeman, per report from the court trial today. While there were, admittedly, varied reports of the size of the WOUND the policeman-victim sustained, which range from 0.2-0.3 mm to 2-3 mm, the fact is, folks, a wound is a wound. Really. What if that small wound had gotten infected, or bled?
Is that possible with such a sized wound? Let's take a look...
Below is a standard ruler- I have marked and highlighted (though it is unfortunately minimally visible in the pix) the MAXIMUM of the reported lengths of the wound - you decide...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Raise your hand if Putin "Hailing" HHK convention makes you feel better...

Let's take a look at the past 2 weeks or so...
On November 17, it is announced that Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan’s application to join the ruling party, President Serge Sargsyan’s Republican Party (HHK), is accepted.
On Nov 18, in the Yerevan Council, there are reports of significant clashes between Sargsyan’s HHK and Dodi Gago’s BHK . In fact, due to this clash, where the BHK claims that the HHK is ruling Yerevan singlehandedly, the BHK threatens to walk out (reported on the 19th).
And, on November 20-22, Dodi Gago participates in the United Russia Party convention.
Less than a week later, former coalition member ARF accuses Russia of acting against the national interests of Armenia, but one day later, November 25, they are explaining their criticism (which, if you ask me, was about as weak a criticism as was their supposed criticism of Kocharyan’s response to LTP).
On the same day, November 25, 2 ministers and 7 other top government officials who are close to PM Sarkisyan are applying for HHK membership.
On November 28, the HHK starts its convention. The ARF was invited and present, as “opposition.” The BHK was invited and present, but Dodi Gago was not there, even though Sargsyan was there at Dodi Gago’s BHK convention a while back. And, remember Orinats Yerkir? Artur Baghdasaryan was also at the HHK convention today, as was Vazgen Manukyan. And, the United Russia Party also had representatives there, and has expressed its desire to strengthen ties with the HHK. It is expected that both Mayor Beglaryan and Tigran Sargsyan will be voted onto the executive board of the HHK.

In the end, it seems, there are persistent problems between S. Sargsyan and Dodi Gago, and a shifting/concentration of weight towards SS/HHK, with the ARF still trying to stay relevant and playing games. None of it is surprising, actually. But it makes me wonder, for sure – if this is what we see from the outside, what’s really going on in the inside?
But I am at peace, as Putin has “hailed” the HHK convention. Phew.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life in Prison

The information and picture are via HZH (Nov 26 2009). The rest of the HZH article states that the picture was made available on the web about 2 months ago, was likely taken at Nubarashen prison for those sentenced to life imprisonment, and that the RoA does not allow such gatherings, especially in the cells of those sentenced to life imprisonment. HZH also notes that it would be interesting to know who is securing the well-being of these prisoners.
A1+ had an article today, and noted that Artyom Khachatryan is the editor in chief of the newspaper Azatamtutyun.
The nickname "Shizolini" was one given to him by the press after the publication of his book "Gift to Pasolini" and it was soon revealed that Khachatryan is supposedly schizophrenic - hence Pasolini + Schizophrenia = Shizolini.

Now, these guys are convicted of what amount to crimes against the state, and in essence the people and the nation. And this is their punishment.

I think I see some prison bars in the back left corner of the photo... if I squint... But it may just be some art deco...

Friday, November 20, 2009

LTPs speech, in English, with my favorites...

Up until now, the only translation in English of LTPs recent speech that I had seen was the partial translation on Lragir, which was much appreciated but missing some key things. I've put a link to the speech in English and in Armenian below, but before that, some bits and pieces that are among my favorites...

"If we are fair-minded however, we have to point out that Serge Sargsyan did not implement the plan of signing the Armenian–Turkish protocols alone. In that endeavor he received unconditional support from the Republican, Country of Laws and Prosperous Armenia parties, the Supreme Spiritual Council of the Armenian church headed by the catholicos Garegin II, the Public Council adjunct to the president of RA headed by Vazgen Manoukyan, the Armenian Assembly of America headed by Hrayr Hovnanyan, the Armenian General Benevolent Union under the honorary presidency of Luise-Simone Manougyan, the presidency of the Academy of Sciences of the RA lead by Radik Martirosyan, Armenia’s criminal-oligarchic economic elite represented by all the well-known individuals with nicknames, the presidents of state universities such as Aram Simonyan, Suren Zolyan and others, and finally the entire court intelligentsia with the silent agreement of Zori Balayan, Sos Sargsyan, Perch Zeytuntsyan, Ruben Gevorgyants and others. It is indicative, however, that none of the representatives of the listed organizations and groups, with possible exceptions of a few republicans, had the courage to personally defend the policy adopted by Serge Sargsyan, making instead the cowardly choice of hiding behind the collective statements and expressions of support, which did not require taking personal responsibility. In essence, everybody abandoned their president and left him to fend for himself. No minister, no academician, no president of a university, no oligarch, and no intellectual stood by him personally."

"It is completely incomprehensible, for example, that the ARF is protesting against the current Armenian–Turkish boarder when it is that party that has drawn those boarders by signing the Treaty of Alexandrapol. Or how is it demanding that Turkey recognize the historic rights of Armenian people when by signing the aforementioned treaty it has renounced the Treaty of Sevres. It is equally true in Vardan Oskanyan’s case. Why has he suddenly remembered Western Armenia and his native Marash, when during the period of holding high office he did not in any way react to Robert Kocharyan’s statement about not having any territorial demands from Turkey, why he did not say that it was treason or that it trampled on the historic rights of the Armenian people, etc? And if all of this is so, who is going to believe the ARF and Oskanyan that their current posture is sincere and that it is not aimed at scoring cheap political points? "

"It is not just to add sins that he has not committed to the many sins that he has. It was not Sargsyan who first recognized the existing Armenian–Turkish boarder - the ARF and the Bolsheviks did that before him with the treaties of Alexandrapol and Kars. He was not the one who renounced territorial claims against Turkey - Robert Kocharyan did that. He was not the one who demanded that Turkey recognized the Armenian Genocide, receiving in response the proposal to create a commission of historians - Kocharyan and Vardan Oskanyan did that. He was not the one who excluded Karabakh from the negotiating process – it was Kocharyan’s, Oskanyan’s and Arkadi Ghukasyan’s wrongdoing. And finally it is not Sargsyan, who can call the Madrid principles his “achievement”- he has inherited them from Kocharyan and Oskanyan. Sargsyan is responsible for all of this only to the extent that he was a member of Kocharyan’s regime, and he is no more responsible than the forces who were supporters or parts of that regime, some of which are pretending to be in the opposition now in order to evade their share of responsibility."

"this will also be a moral and psychological blow for the Diaspora, whose identity, irrespective of our subjective desire, because of the tragic circumstances, rests upon the Genocide, although I would have personally preferred it to be based upon the idea of the strengthening of the Armenian statehood and on universal values."

"Thus, even if we consider the establishment of the commission of historians to be a matter of commercial trade-off, it will appear to be a failed undertaking, or, at least, not the one that envisages the establishment of the commission in exchange for the open border, but, at best, a trade-off that presupposes the establishment of the commission in exchange for the recognition of Serge Sargsyan’s legitimacy."

The full texts:



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

ARF meet Piaget, Piaget meet ARF

I read LTPs most recent speech multiple times. And obviously have been reading some of the reactions to the speech, including the response of the ARF, and its extremism and oversimplifications, its attempts at manipulation and misinformation, its overcompensation and sensationalism. And I have come to the conclusion that in addition to its numerous own political motives for such a strategy, the ARF follows this type of course because of an intrinsic problem, which became clearer to me when I thought to myself that, man, these guys are concrete thinkers, they just won't, and it seems can't, see the non-literal, the complex, the abstract. Which brought me to Piaget's famous stages of development: Sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational.
So at first I thought, these guys are stuck in the Concrete phase of development - but then I read that definition again:
Children begin to think logically but are very concrete in their thinking. Children can now conceive and think logically but only with practical aids. They are no longer egocentric.
Wow, that fit pretty well, but these guys still are stuck on themselves a lot of the time. So I went back one step to Preoperational thinking:
Magical thinking predominates. Acquisition of motor skills. Egocentricism begins strongly and then weakens. Children cannot conserve or use logical thinking.
Sounds pretty close. I can see where/how this stagnation in development occurred. The ARF, so heavily based in the Diaspora, are the sons and daughters, granddaughters and grandsons, and yes, greatgranddaughters and greatgrandsons, of fighters, martyrs, and victims - like so many in the Diaspora and Armenia. Crimes against humanity were committed which have gone yet unrecognized in a world which claims to want to stop violence, murder and genocide. And yet the Genocide has gone unrecognized by the majority of the world's countries; the pride of our nation and the sorrow of our victims goes unwritten in most history textbooks. And while the stories of our grandmothers and grandfathers must echo ever louder in our memory so that they will not be forgotten, this places a heavy burden of conscience on every new generation. They say time heals all wounds, but time does not pass when we relive history every day. When my image makes a 90 year old woman gasp, thinking she has seen her old childhood friend, one of my greats, time has not passed.
And so, I understand this stagnation. This need to relive, to remember, to find some justice and closure in recognition.

But the collective psyche does not Foreign policy make, and time does pass. And countries are revived, new wars are fought, pride, identity and freedom are renewed and revised. And the new Country and Nation has new needs to secure itself, in addition to the old needs. And yet, the ARF, from even before independence in 1991, has been unable to adjust. And so I think it is not just a lack of desire, and of course, the inner politics of the upper echelons of the ARF, but a developmental inability to see such things.
For the ARF, the ideals of Freedom and Liberty, Truth and Justice, apply only to 1915, and not to the Citizens and Republic of Armenia, of today, or of March 1, 2008.

This developmental stagnation pertains not only to those who would make decisions, but maybe, maybe even more so, to the common member of the ARF - a condition which, appropriately tended and fostered, makes manipulation by those who do make decisions - and are more involved in politics and have more to gain - much easier.

What the heck is my point? Here is what I am saying. LTPs speech is completely internally consistent - the priority is Armenia, the people of Armenia, Democracy, and Human Rights. This was true of LTP in 1988, and it is true now. The purpose of all major decisions is to help the development and progress of the priorities above.

I do not see an absolute contradiction in the following: Sargsyan is an illegitimate president. He gained his power through illegal and violent mechanisms. He, along with certain others, are accountable for the violence of March 1, and the continued oppressions, imprisonments, cover-ups, intimidation and violence which started even before the presidential elections of Feb 2008, and continues today. Sargsyan has willingly made unnecessary and unacceptable concessions in international diplomacy in order to gain the chance to be viewed as legitimate by the international community. Nothing changes any of this. However, keeping in mind the priorities of LTP and the HAK, Sargsyan has the chance, in fact, he has the chance every morning when he wakes up, to change things, to free political prisoners, to allow freedom of speech and press and assembly, and to follow a different path than that which he has so far. If he were to show such interest, then LTP, in line with the principles outlined above, would be open to helping him along that path.

That is by no means a Sargsyan-Ter-Petrosyan Union, as the ARF would like to have people believe. It is an offer of guidance, a restatement of priority, a paving of the road toward doing the right thing. Such manipulation of terms, of ideas, is an attempt to weaken LTP and HAK because, it seems to me, the ARF itself is actually, in some type of weird ARF-collective subconscious, intimidated by an entity (whether it be LTP, HAK, or an individual independent Armenian who does not need to be told by the ARF how to be Armenian) that will pursue guiding principles over a chance to spew venom, incite irrational fear and frenzy, and potentially gain more power.
In contrast to LTP, the ARF is now so internally inconsistent that it now thinks that a bill regarding March 1 presented to parliament will be a convincing opposition-type move. Sorry, that picture of the ARF raising its champagne glass with the rest of the coalition after March 1 is forever etched in my memory, and the memory of so many others. In fact, what is truly consistent about the ARF, is that it chooses to pursue Power, over any other principle.

I don't know if there is a 'cure' for developmental stagnation. Every day that the decision makers of the ARF wake up, they have the choice to make a new and better set of choices. That speech and guidance contained therein is almost as much for them as it was for anyone else... If so, that would mean, using the same logic that they used, that there may be an ARF-LTP Union?!!!!

But wait, making that jump requires consistency, logic, abstraction... (aka Formal operational thinking). And it would require an ARF that is principled, and truly Opposition. And they've got none of that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who's minion is on the other end?

"Authorities - You killed our sons"

"Don't try the heroes, try the murderers"

These were two of the posters held up outside Pashinyan's trial today, as well as pictures of many of the victims of March1. The video also shows brief interviews with mothers and fathers of those fallen men, their statements are clear and strong and in line with the messages of the posters. Gor Kloyan's father, Sargis Kloyan, said about the poster on the left ""I wrote this sign with my own two hands and I wrote the truth because the police killed my son by the order of Robert Kocharyan...[] The commander-in-chief and the godfather of all this is Robert Kocharyan." A1plus had a brief article, and a video.

At about 4:22min to 4:28, a woman's voice says, in response to what seem to be (and are reported) statements by the police that the signs were anti-government, says "What, do the signs say something false? What's written there is what several hundred thousand people saw."

And, fear not, while I haven't seen the illustrious Bazaz around for a bit, it seems his almost equally evil shadow, Valeri Osipyan, is out and about - watch the video above to catch him starring in some of his most recent acts of oppression!

Speaking of Kocharyan, there was an article recently of the Meghri exchange option coming up again...

And who is he calling... who does he report to, or turn to when he needs backup? The minions of which oligarch are on the other end of that line?

Monday, November 9, 2009

It goes both ways - evidence is evidence

A while back the newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak published a story that one of Robert Kocharyan's sons had caused some type of ruckus in Dubai. Long story short, that resulted in the Kocharyan family suing HZH for slander or some such charge. One of the main pieces of evidence put forth that said Kocharyan son had NOT been in Dubai at the time of the alleged ruckus was that his passport did not hold any evidence of travel to Dubai at that time.

It goes both ways.

Likewise, if Pashinyan's passport does not hold any evidence that Pashinyan travelled abroad, well, then he was in Armenia during that time.

Any other argument would be absurd...

RFE/RL interview(60 min program) November 9 with Lucine Sahakyan (Pashinyan's lawyer) from approx 6min to 11:34 min.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Authorities declare Pashinyan's trial invalid

In a bizarre turn of events, the government of Armenia has chosen a creative and unprecedented route to free political prisoner Nikol Pashinyan. Pashinyan, now a candidate for an empty MP seat, needed documentation of permanent residence of 5 years in Armenia to complete his paperwork. The Ijevan branch of the RA Police Passport and Visa Department has refused to give him that documentation, stating that he was not in Armenia between February 26 and July 7 of 2008. This is where the authorities' amazing and calculated strategy shines brilliant. Pashinyan is currently imprisoned and on trial for his role in the events of March 1, 2008. And, he turned himself in to the authorities, as witnessed by numerous article and videos, on July 1, 2008. With these minor but important changes in the dates, the government has made clear that it is impossible that Nikol Pashinyan could have been involved in any illegal events in Yerevan on March 1, 2008, that the charges are fundamentally invalid, and must be dropped. Now, what this means for those police and officials who have testified that Pashinyan was in fact in Yerevan on that date, I don't know - I hope they will not be reprimanded for their apparent perjury.

With this most recent move, the authorities have shown that they have truly turned over a new leaf, and are willing to make democracy and human rights a true priority in Armenia. The court will have no choice but to drop the charges against Pashinyan, and set him free. What's next? Will they reveal documents or videos that show undeniable proof that the order for March 1 was given by individuals high up in the government? Will the authorities come forth and say their position as negotiators on behalf of the Republic of Armenia is compromised, and voluntarily step back? Could Sargsyan's resignation be next?

Who knows. But, the authorities should be commended for this selfless act. I can't wait to see what's next...

[Note: this is obviously quite a sarcastic post. The fact is, that the authorities couldn't even get the dates right. So now we have an illegitimate and oppressive regime that can't even come up with good lies and excuses. Hey, guys, at least check your dates. It's a little embarassing when you guys mess up so badly. If you need help, just ask, ok?]

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Serzh, jan?... Bazaz, jan? - No, it's Nikol, jan...

Watching the trials of the other political prisoners, I learned that the courts in Armenia have a much more personal nature that those I am used to seeing. Having the defendant be an active part of their own defense (e.g. Jhangiryan) and an active part of the evolving courtroom dynamic (e.g. the trial of the seven), is something I quickly became accustomed to. So maybe the bit on a1plus of Pashinyan's trial from the other day was just another manifestation of the same.
Pashinyan is asking the witness some questions himself - people moved forward, why did they stop where they did, he asks? He gently and warmly persists in trying to get an answer. And the witness answers "Nikol, jan [dear], it was two years ago, I can't remember those details."
She turns directly to Pashinyan and says, Nikol, jan,... she is sincere, and upset, but she doesn't seem to blame Pashinyan...
She does not give an answer to the judge (who was also guiding her to answer the question) of: I don't know, or I don't remember; she does not show anger towards the person asking the question, which would be easiest; nor does she say I don't know, or, Why or how would I remember that...

Now maybe this is just part of a different dynamic that exists as a norm in the court system in Armenia. But that familiarity, that comfort, is not something I can imagine a witness feeling toward someone whom they do not trust... I cannot imagine that during Serzh Sargsyan's trial one day, someone will say, Serzh, jan... or Bazaz, jan,... Robert, jan...

[start at 1:21 min]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Name that Hand!!!

Humanity - the abilities of humans - constantly amaze me. At first, Armenian government officials were able to say without a doubt, without any concrete zoological evidence provided, that teeth and jaw bits found on the ground after March 1 were porcine, and not human. And now, witnesses are able to recognize Nikol Pashinyan's leg. My guess is that it was covered in pants and shoes, since I don't remember the last time I saw a grown man wear shorts in Armenia - especially one who is involved in political activity. So that would seem to make it a little more less reliable, since we can change our pants and our shoes. And, believe it or not, someone else may have the same pants, and even the same shoes...

But let's play "Name that Hand" - below are pictures of the naked hands, which are usually considered more unique and so should be easier to recognize, of famous people in Armenia and throughout the world.... Do you know who they belong to?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Keeping it in the family

How do we, as humans commit to people? What makes bonds strong?...
We find similarities. We do favors and practice reciprocity. We make promises. We make threats. We use money.
And what makes any bond even tighter, stronger?

About two weeks ago, on October 17, Hovik Abrahamyan's (aka "Muk," speaker of the NA of the RoA) son married the daughter of Gagik Tsarukyan (aka "Dodi Gago," who is a member of the NA)
And just the other day, on October 31, Serzh Sargsyan's daughter married the nephew of the wife of Armenian Constitutional Court chairman.

I wish the best for the young couples - this isn't about them.
What I am concerned about are the repercussions that the merging of these families will have on politics in Armenia.

As Lragir entitled their recent piece, it's a FEUDAL HUMAN TRAGEDY.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pashinyan is running for Parliament ...

In a move somewhat reminiscent of Ter-Petrosyan's bid for the Mayoral seat, Pashinyan has announced his candidacy for a vacant MP position.
Not only that, but Suren Sureniants, who was going to run for the same position, is not going to, and is backing Pashinyan.
Beautiful, just Beautiful.

A1plus article
RFE/RL article

The question is, will the banditocracy let it even happen?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Airports, Fruits, Banks and Mail...

Ever since the Dutch head of the Armenian Postal Service (HayPost) was beaten up not once, but twice, and it seems "encouraged" to leave, I've been curious to find out who took over, especially since there were a number of rumors at that time. I checked their website, even, but did not find any useful information regarding my question. Lragir published a piece today about HayPost, so naturally I read it. The first helpful terms I came across were:
“Haypost Trust Management” company director Juan Pablo Gechidjian
so I googled Juan Pabldo Gechidjian. ALL of the information below was found through web research - which we all know is not completely reliable, and in some cases is completely false - I would very much appreciate any corrections, verifications, etc... That being said, it is at the least entertaining to follow the trails.

It turns out Juan Pablo Gechidjian is an Argentian Armenian, and is indeed the Company Director at HayPost. He is also the Executive Director of Armenia International Airport CJSC/Airport Director. He is also a Board Member of Converse Bank. He has also represented Advanced Global Investments LLC to Converse Bank, at least twice (6/29/07 and 6/5/08). According to European Banking Resources online website:
The bank was established in 1993 as a "North Armenian" shareholding bank. In 1997 it was reorganized as "Converse Bank" CJSC. In February 2007 "Advanced Global Investments" LLC, a US based company controlled by Eduardo Ernekian bought 95% of Converse bank shares. Remaining 5% of shares belong to Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Catholicosate.
But let's go back a minute. HayPost company was taken over by Eurnekian Group in 2006. Eduardo Eurnekian is a very wealthy businessman from Argentina. He owns/directs Corporacion America, which has multiple sub-companies including: Tierras de Armenia (Hayastani Hogher), Fruitfull Armenia, Zvartnots Airport, and DutyFree and Unitec.
Martin Eurnekian (unclear if he is a relation) is the CEO of American International Airport, which is part of Corporacion America.
Matias Gainza Eurnekian, the nephew of Eduardo Eurnekian, is a Board member of Converse Bank (I think as of May 11, 2009). He is also the Director of Unitec (see above) which belongs to Corporacion American.
Continued googling found that Tierras de Armenia (see above) and Max Group ("owned by Harutiun Pambukian, a parliamentarian close to former President Robert Kocharian") were involved in a joint venture. ["The president of Max Group, businessman Harutyun Pambukyan. Pambukyan owns a poultry plant, restaurants, and other businesses. He was responsible for bringing to Armenia the offshore company, Midland Resources, which bought the Armenian electricity network. He is a shareholder in Midland." Hetq]

Why is this interesting to me? I'm not so sure myself. I am not trained or overly interested in international corporate law or business, and I definitely don't know what is considered just cold hard business, and what goes over that line. And I'm not against a successful company or individual owning multiple different businesses in different arenas - that's business. But it all seems pretty circular, somehow. Not to mention that I seem to remember that Eurnekian has been close with both Kocharyan and Sargsyan in the past, with multiple meetings. In fact, Kocharyan gave Eurnekian a medal. He has also been a large donor to the All Armenia Fund - which is great, except that over time concern has arisen that the Fund's accounting has become questionable.

So what's the issue, and what does this have to do with the Dutch? Well, after being beaten up twice (7/10/08 and 10/15/08), General-Director of HayPost CJSC Hans Boon left the country. Mr Boon gave an interview to HayInfo back in December of 2008. In this interview, he explains that a certain plan was laid out before HayPost, and certain criteria of advancement were to be met. Many of them were fulfilled, some above and beyond. Those that were not fulfilled were, he seems to be saying, because the Armenian side did not fulfill/delayed/did not follow up on its portion of some of the criteria, and even posed obstacles. This meant that in the end, some of the required conditions were not met.
The reason of change stems from the requirements from the side of the Eurnekian Group, which were presented at the end of January 2008 as a condition to invest in Postbank.... [] Certain elements have not been fulfilled as the environment (legal, regulatory) posed obstacles..[]. At the request of the Eurnekian Group at the end of August 2008, the role was gradually limited and leading to the complete withdrawal of the Dutch side in December 2008.
He ends the interview by explaining that the path the then current new management was taking raised many questions.

It seems to me that the Dutch were basically pushed out, by the Armenian side reneging on their part of the bargain, and quickly someone else came in. And that was Eurnekian. Interestingly enough, he was also one of the names at the bottom of the Who's Who of Diasporans who signed the Open Letter in support of the protocols, as did Charles Aznavour (who now has a museum in Yerevan and is an Ambassador), Hrair Hovnanian (of the Armenian Assembly), Ruben Vardanian (Well known Businessman in Russia) and Artur Chilingarov (polar explorer turned Russian politician), to name a few.

There are many more connections to be made, the more I dig, the more I search and google, the more connections and more questions. Many of those named above have started large non-profit funds and renovated schools, hospitals, roads, homes, etc in Armenia. It really seems they have done some incredible humanitarian work.

Now if someone could just help me understand the rest of it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

MassisWeekly article on Oskanyan...

I was reading today's MassisWeekly, the paper of the Hnchakyan party, and came across this article that sums it all up pretty well re: Oskanyan (see my last post), it's in armenian, Վարդան Օսկանեան՝ երեկ ու այսօր.

Վարդան Օսկանեան՝ երեկ ու այսօր/Vartan Oskanyan: Yesterday and today

Thursday, October 22, 2009

More and more uncomfortable... He just can't imagine

This video of Oskanyan is 4:42 minutes long - if you've only got 2 minutes, start at 2:50...

Oskanyan becomes pretty worked up, and very, very uncomfortable...
Basically he is being asked about the protocols, and says he cannot understand how any government could sign such documents. That no matter how they are interpreted, how they are read, they are unacceptable. He states, in answer to a direct question, that the current protocols are categorically not a continuation of or similar to the approach taken by LTP in the 1990's. And, that despite continued similar approaches being advanced by the Turks during the past ten years, these were rejected by the government. He cannot understand at all why or how the present government is signing these protocols. He is left to think, that the advancement/signing of the protocols is somehow required/forced/made necessary...
We didn't agree to this approach over the past ten years, he says in the end of the video... why they are agreeing to it now I don't understand...

Really, Mr. Oskanyan? You can't imagine? You can't imagine, such an experienced diplomat, head of Civilitas, you can't imagine how the present authorities could be in such a state as to be pushed into signing such a document? You can't imagine why or how Sargsyan's illegitimacy, and continued oppression of human rights and democracy, could possibly be playing a role in what is happening now?

Or do you not want to imagine that, because you played such an active role in the powers that brought him to be...

Stop trying to play all sides, Mr. Oskanyan. Really, its very transparent, and its condescending.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pashinyan's "trial" coming up...

While somewhat different in nature and context, the fact is that Josef K.'s trial had more logic and legitimacy than do Pashinyan's imprisonment and upcoming trial.
The next segment of this absolutely farcical odyssey is on October 20th, starting at noon. Let's see what the banditocracy comes up with next.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And it was done... What a perfect marionette...

This is another great one, taken off of facebook - I have no idea who did it, but it is excellent, especially in light of the revelation Kommersant on October 12th which was not widely dispersed, if at all, in the English media:

Положение спас глава МИД РФ Сергей Лавров: в последний момент он передал армянскому коллеге записку, текст которой оказался в распоряжении "Ъ". В ней господин Лавров посоветовал молча подписать протоколы и разойтись. Что и было сделано.

Which, roughly translated, says: The situation was saved by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; at the last minute, he handed a note to his Armenian colleague [Nalbandyan], whose text was made available to Kommersant. In it, he advised [Nalbandyan] to quietly sign the protocol and leave. And it was done.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Well said...

Article from Lragir, October 13:

The Armenian-Turkish protocols would not exist if Armenia was not weak. It is not accidental that the rival started its attack after March 1. Our movement will aim to eliminate not the consequence but the cause, said the representative of Sardarapat movement Jirayr Sefilyan. According to him, the Sardarapat committee is being formed now and 3 offices will work.

In Sefilyan’s opinion, the ARF activities are not honest. If they wanted to prevent Serge Sargsyan’s betraying actions, they had to initiate a signature gathering action and put it on the table of the president. Sefilyan does not understand either how a force in authoritarian country may be oppositional and have a television station at the same time.

As to the Armenian National Congress, according to Sefilyan, the HAK was unable to reach its final goal. Congress is an honest movement which is why he is not going to leave it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How not to run a race...

The table where the document was signed (via GoldenTent's Twitter).

I remember back when I was a kid, we'd have sports competitions; We'd divide up into two teams, and compete in a bunch of events. And when it came down to the one on one events, like a sprint race, we'd look around our teams and decide who should run the race - who would be best at that race, who was the fastest, who would be most likely to win for our team. And that's who we would send to run that final race for our team. Not the guy who sprained his ankle yesterday, or was getting bullied by a bigger guy on the other team, or who's overly competitive girlfriend is on the other team. We all looked around and chose the fastest guy there was- And we definitely never picked the guy the other team wanted us to pick.

It's not that I don't want to run in the race, or play the game.
It's that the guy running the race for Armenia just sprained his ankle, is desperate, is the other's teams choice, and easy to bully.
Who chose this guy???... Oh, yeah...

Friday, October 9, 2009

ARF stance on the protocols is for sale...

And... the ARF supplies me with yet another chapter in my apparently ongoing list of proofs that their despite all of their caterwauling about Genocide and borders and such, they're really after, well, power.... and whatever else comes with it...

The same day that the ARF-organized anti-protocol protest happens in Yerevan, Manoyan gives an interview (my translations are rough and paraphrased) - these are all from the same article from

ՀՅԴ-ն առաջարկելու է իշխանություններին՝ համագործակցել ստորագրված արձանագրությունների վնասը նվազեցնելու ուղղությամբ, եւ եթե համապատասխան արձագանք չստանան, կգնան մինչեւ վերջ։
The ARF is going to propose to the government of Armenia that, in order to decrease potential harm, the ARF become part of the process of the protocols... and if they don't get an appropriate response, then they will take it to the end.

...դեռեւս չենք հասել այն վերջնագծին, երբ պետք է պահանջել նախագահի հրաժարականը:
The ARF is still not at the point where it needs to call for Sargsyan's resignation.

Ինչ վերաբերում է արձանագրությունների վավերացմանը, դաշնակցական գործիչն ասաց, որ Հայաստանը չպետք է այն առաջինը վավերացնի։
Regarding the signing of the protocols, Manoyan said that Armenia should not sign the protocols.

Okay, what does that mean???
We want in - if you don't let us in, we'll be pissed off, and maybe then we'll take our 'opposition' to the endpoint (whatever that is for the ARF)
Once we're in, we'll work together (because that's how the ARF wants to make things better for Armenia).
If working together is an option, that means that the ARF either a)thinks it can change the minds of the present ruling gang or b)it wants what it can get out of the deal, and therefore, as a corollary, the anti-protocol stance is up for sale...

Therefore, moving onto the next step in this logic, the ARF has put up their stance for sale, their Hye-Tad is for sale.... for what?

For more of this...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some pics and an article...

The Armenian Weekly recently published a piece by Henry Theriault which I think is a tad different than their usual, though I have to admit I don't read the Weekly consistently - here are some excerpts:

Sarkisian’s actions in the early part of his presidency demonstrate clearly that he has no regard for Armenian human rights and will violate them any time he desires. His actions were little different from those of Turkish political leaders and institutions that today suppress the basic human rights—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to property, and even right to life—of Armenians within Turkey...

Serge Sarkisian’s complicity with genocide deniers and in the genocidal expropriation of Armenian land and movable wealth could have been prevented if enough people inside and outside Armenia had stood up against his initial human rights abuses... The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) should have understood the lessons of history above—that there is no way to work with human rights abusers to protect human rights—instead of wishfully thinking that it could temper and even change the nature of Sarkisian’s abusive rule by participating in the government. This approach never works. And, one has to ask, where were the Swiss then, when they could actually have helped Armenians and promoted democracy and human rights? Instead, they have piled onto the Armenian population around the world to help Turkey push them into accepting the violation of their rights and memory represented by the protocols....

The only way that its citizens can act to save their own society is if Sarkisian’s illegitimate abuse of human rights and suppression of their political dissent stops. However great Sarkisian’s moral violation against Armenians for complicity in the final consolidation of the Armenian Genocide, it is not a prosecutable crime. Sarkisian’s use of state violence against Armenian citizens and the jailing of opposition, however, would seem to be....

To save Armenia and Armenians from the continued rule of a leader so cavalier about violations of their rights, Armenians and Armenian organizations inside and outside of Armenia, as well as international human rights organizations and foreign governments, should begin pressing for a credible investigation into the allegations of Sarkisian’s use of violence against protesters and violations of the rights of those jailed for political reasons under his presidency. If sufficient evidence is found that he has violated human rights, he should be indicted and stand trial for his violations. If he is found guilty, he should be punished in accord with the law, including with jail time if warranted by law.

And for some more visual points of view:

The cartoon is being circulated on the web And the photo, from what I'm told, was of a poster presented at the "No Protocols" protest taking place in front of the Permanent Mission of Armenia to the United Nations in New York on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2009.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ARF yelling "Serjik Heratsir"... Just Imagine!!!

This is the huge banner at the anti-Sargsyan protest in LA. The AYF YouTube channel has posted some videos - this is my 'favorite' one so far...

One ARF member on facebook wrote that Sargsyan must not be used to anyone standing up to him. How ridiculous. Someone beat me to commenting on that ridiculous statement, saying basically, no, he just can't open fire on these protesters.

Holding banners, saying Serjik Heratsir, standing on trucks, sending snippets of videos from the demonstration... this is all very familiar... And while I think at this point that the reasons for disagreeing with the protocols are different for most Diasporan Armenians than they are for those in Armenia (Genocide and Borders Recognition issues vs a basic mistrust of SS - with both groups thinking he'll give away NK), the ARF does seem to be serving a purpose right now...

But I did not hear their voices in March, 2008; I do not hear their call for Sargsyan's resignation; and they are not yet Opposition...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What's stopping the ARF from acting like Opposition???

Let's do a semi-controlled analysis here... I'll try to keep my sarcasm to a minimum... ARF Issues Statement After Meeting with Sarkisian in New York

In 1991 and the rest of the early 1990's, the ARF does not support independence initially, and is not friendly with LTP's government. In fact, during that time, with so little light, heat, and even grain, the ARF worked actively AGAINST the government. Of course, back then the ARF was still based outside of Armenia, and some in Armenia end up in prison. The Central Committee is forced to move to Armenia from the Diaspora. They're furious (but really, what country allows a political party based outside of its borders to function within its borders the way the ARF intended to??).

With Kocharyan's reign, the ARF is granted reprieve, literally, and gains power. Kocharyan can do very little wrong in the eyes of the ARF. Corruption, and politics that will cause destabilization in the longterm go unnoticed by the ARF.

The Kocharyan to Sargsyan transfer of power - February-March-April 2008. 11 killed, hundreds beaten, imprisoned. Including the elderly, women and children..No freedom of press, no freedom of speech or congregation. The country is shut down. The ARF backs Sargsyan. Citizens of Armenia draw parallels between the planned execution of Armenians in 1915 to the planned execution of Armenians March 1, 2008. The ARF still backs Sargsyan. Batallion leaders and Fedayis from the NK war are imprisoned and at times abused by Sargsyan's regime - the ARF still back Sargsyan.

2008/2009 - Sargsyan starts to move forward significantly with plans for Turkish Armenian relations. The ARF finally pulls out of the coalition. ARF calls for Nalbandyan's resignation, but not Sargsyan's. Sargsyan's plans begin to truly jeopardize, in the eyes of the ARF, in their own words, the security of the Armenian Nation by proceeding with protocols which the ARF ITSELF state are unacceptable, vis a vis border recognition, Genocide recognition, and NK... And still, the ARF cannot bring itself to call for Sargsyan's resignation.

What is the common factor, the common denominator? When years and regimes change, what is the variable which seems to draw in the ARF???

My answer: Power. and Money.
Any thoughts???

World Press Freedom Committee Urges Release of Pashinyan

[See the Letter in PDF here]

Oct. 2, 2009

His Excellency Serzh Sargsyan
President of the Republic of Armenia
26 Marshal Baghramian Ave.
Yerevan 0077
Republic of Armenia

Your Excellency:

The World Press Freedom Committee —an organization representing 44 press freedom groups from throughout the world— expresses its profound concern about the fate of Nicol Pashinyan, editor-in-chief of the country’s leading newspaper, Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times), who was arrested on July 1 after he voluntarily came out of hiding.

Mr. Pashinyan, whose trial will start soon, is accused of very serious crimes, including inciting mass disorder and assaulting a public official. But the truth is he was just exercising his right to free expression during a peaceful political rally on March 1, 2008, which ended up being brutally repressed by riot police. The bloody incident left ten people dead.

A 2008 US State Department report on human rights concluded that, “some of the deaths may have occurred from purposeful arbitrary killing, misuse of crowd control equipment […] or some combination of these factors.” The report goes on to conclude that no investigations were conducted into the behavior of the security forces during the incident.

Mr. Pashinyan, whose writings had been very critical of the government, went into hiding after that fateful day and continued writing for his newspaper. After the Armenian Parliament passed a resolution of amnesty for all those implicated in the March 1 incident, he decided to come of out of hiding only to be immediately arrested and taken to a former KGB prison.

The arrest took place in blatant defiance of the amnesty resolution and of a resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which reminded the Armenian authorities that “the amnesty will also apply to those persons charged in relation to the events of 1 and 2 March 2008.” The PACE resolution also urges the Armenian authorities to allow those charged in relation with that incident to remain free during the duration of their legal proceedings.

Arresting a journalist because of his professional activity is a serious attack not only on his fundamental human rights, including press freedom, but also on his audience, who thus is deprived of important information about issues of public interest. By keeping him in prison, you also hold his audience hostage to an arbitrary decision that attempts against fundamental democratic principles.

The harassment and illegal detention of members of the media represent grave violations of fundamental human rights postulates enshrined not only in the Armenian Constitution but also in international covenants, such as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which your country is signatory.

Article 19 of the Declaration states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression and opinion; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
Your Excellency, we urge you to exercise your presidential power and influence to grant the immediate release of Mr. Pashinyan from prison thus showing the international community your government does respect freedom of the press and due process.

Richard Winfield
World Press Freedom Committee

Javier Sierra
Projects Director
World Press Freedom Committee

CC:Viviane Reding, European Union Commissioner for Information Society and Media
H.E. Tatoul Markarian, Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States of America
Top officials of the Armenian government
Members of Armenia’s independent media
The members of the Coordinating Committee of Press Freedom Organizations:
· Committee to Protect Journalists

· Inter American Press Association

· International Association of Broadcasting

· International Federation of the Periodical Press

· International Press Institute

· North American Broadcasters Association

· World Association of Newspapers

· World Press Freedom Committee

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Go Away" is a slur and offensive

Looks like there were about 200 or more French Armenians protesting against Sargsyan - if he were actually looking for an answer as to what Diasporan Armenians feel about his plans, he might have gotten it. But he's not really looking for an answer, we all know that.

Back on the home front, looks like the brilliant Yerevan police are trying to find a way to keep protesters from saying or chanting anything at all. Or rather, they're finding an excuse to break up any protests, and arrest anyone who dares voice an opinion not in line with that of the banditocracy.

Yerevan Police Ban Anti-Government ‘Slurs’
“They go as far as to make offensive comments about our leaders,” Major-General Nerses Nazarian, chief of Yerevan’s police department, complained about opposition demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans.

“That is not normal,” he said. “I declare that at my instructions, that will not tolerated by my services.”

And it looks like they are trying to target, especially, the statement "Serjik Heratsir" (Serjik Go Away/Resign).

Awww... their feelings got hurt. But don't worry... Major-General Nazaryan is going to stand up for Armenia's helpless little government, and Armenia, and make sure no meanies say anything else to hurt SS's feelings. Those mean protesters. This Nazaryan is a real humanitarian, human rights type of guy, it seems. He's also standing up for the police force, defending the charges against Arakelyan.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great Discussions, I'm sure...

Hovik Abrahaman, Speaker of the NA, is going to meet with Ahmadinejad, and has already met with his Iranian counterpart. Among issues being discussed are regional security. I can just imagine how the conversation is going to go...

Iran:"Wow, you're really pulling it off. I'm impressed..."
Muk:"Yeah, it was unfortunate that any of the March 1 events were captured on video, especially some of the more graphic footage - the shootings, the jaw, the beatings... you know how it goes... kind of like that girl they caught on video in Tehran.... what was her name?"
Iran:"N-something, I think. After seeing what happened with your elections, we knew videos and technology would cause a problem - we tried to block internet and all of that early on, but some of them got around it. B**tards. You work so hard to try to cut off all communication, but they find a way."
Muk:"Agreed. Quite annoying. Sometimes I look out of my car and just dream that all those little people out there would just shut up, or disappear - it would make my life so much easier..."
{chuckling together}
Iran:"We saw how little it mattered that there were international observers, and our relationship with the west is a little different to begin with... but we just kept them out anyway. From what I hear, observers were good for the restaurant business in Yerevan, right? They didn't set you back much at all- those organizations can't do anything anyway."...
Muk:"Imagine what we could do if we put our heads together!"
{more chuckling}

On another note - the Public council, which seems to be headed by Vazgen Manukyan, has approved the protocols. I'm not exactly sure where in the process this council fits, but why am I not surprised. What I'm really not sure of is WHICH public they are the council of...