Remember. March 1 Will Never Be The First Day of Spring Again

PS:  Where are the authorities, who are directly responsible for the 10 deaths of March 1? Why don’t they show up and pay tribute?

Pashinian appeal hearings turned into yet another political comedy

Prominent oppositionist, jailed editor of “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily Nikol Pashinian took his time to mock the court and make political statements, as hearings opened in a High Court on an appeal lodged by his lawyers against a January court ruling which sentenced the oppositionist to seven years in prison for his alleged role in the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. Continue reading

“7 trial” pulled apart, “political” context stripped off

The controversial trial of ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s 7 prominent supporters de-facto ended today – separated into isolated cases by the ruling of judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan. The charge for “usurpation of state authority by force” was dropped, making the now separate cases against the oppositionists more “politically neutral”. RFE/RL carries the news:

The new twist in the so-called “case of the seven” resulted from the newly enacted amendments to Articles 225 and 300 of the Armenian Criminal Code used against the prominent supporters of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian. The articles deal with provocation of street violence and “usurpation of state authority by force” respectively.

The judge ruled, that the seven oppositionists should stand separate trials for “provoking mass disorders and violence”, while the charge of “usurpation of state authority”, which was the main charge politicizing the case, was dropped. 

While this means, that the trials will continue beyond the deadline of PACE April session, it also means, that the opposition will have fewer arguments in claiming that the seven oppositionists are “political prisoners” at the PACE’s upcoming session.

It will also disperse the “high profile” cloud from the case, making it harder for the society to follow.

All of this looks like a thoroghly considered plan for putting the oppositionists in jail for good (BtW: Shant Harutyunyan’s case had been suspended earlier in March while he undergoes psychiatric examination).

It also signalls the decisive stance of the authorities to punish political dissidence as the country heads into Yerevan’s municipal elections.

Jhangiryan, former deputy prosecutor-general sentenced to 3 years

jangirian8“In a highly controversial but anticipated ruling, a Yerevan court on Monday sentenced Gagik Jahangirian, a former deputy prosecutor-general linked to the Armenian opposition, to three years in prison for allegedly resisting police during his arrest last year,” RFE/RL reports.

Watching Jhangiryan demanding justice, I could not help, but smile at the irony of the situation. Jhangiryan, formerly also Armenia’s chief military prosecutor, knows very well what the Armenian law-enforcement and judicial systems are capable of. Continue reading