Armenian bloggers demand justice

Social justice was in focus of Armenian bloggers’ interest not just in virtual, but also in real life. It is no secret, that there are prominent Armenian bloggers among the organizers of the “part joke, part serious” exhibition held on March 4th, 2007 and the exhibit was actively (photo)covered in the blogosphere.

Կես կատակ, կես լուրջ ցուցահանդես ©  ֆոտո Նվարդ Երկանյանի (Азура), Երևան, 2007

part joke, part serious exhibition © photo by Nvard Yerkanyan (Azura), Yerevan, 2007
According to CRD / TI Armenian Election Monitor 2007:

[…]the round part was divided into two sections: part serious and part joke. A note attached to the hand saying “You are your own weapon” was compulsory for those willing enter the serious section. This part of the exhibit featured posters with news about Jirayr Sefilyan’s arrest, inhabitants of Buzand street displaced from their houses, the “refurbishment” of the city and other problems.[…]
[…]As a whole the main goal of the organizers was to raise peoples’ awareness about the importance of media and freedom of speech. That is essentially what many of the young people were busy with [i.e. freedom of speech] by writing down their ideas on the “Don’t keep it inside” leaflets.[…]

While one of the organizers of the event, Bekaisa is discussing what worked and what didn’t at the event, bloggers continue discussing the issues reflected in the exhibition. Narjan has drawn attention to the fact, that the attempts of the Danish police to relocate some homeless people from the center of the city to the suburbs (which makes sense according to the blogger) has resulted in public protests, and compares the situation with Armenia, where legitimate owners of houses are thrown out of their land and the public at large does nothing about it. Martuni or Bust writes about the issue with a great deal of frustration this time, thereby proposing his own approach for the solution of the problems of displaced homeowners.

[…]ALL those bulidings that were built by illigal means need to be confiscated from those criminals who today have the luxury of the protection from the law of Robert Kocharian and his criminal gang and given to the people who owned the land they stand on. All those that purchased houses and commercial space in those new buildings can go after those that sold them the stolen property. This is on our to-do list and even if it is 30 years from now will happen.[…]

Calls for protecting the interests of the “Kashatagh, the region between Artsakh and Armenia has been depopulating due to very bad governing of the region by a well connected government official”remained in focus of attention thanks to Martuni or Bust and SASSNA DZRER). The Armenian Economsit has also looked at the governance in the rural areas, noting a lot of positive developments as the investments in the sphere increase. However, the blogger has many important questions as to what really will be the results of the recent trends:

[…]Undoubtedly the commercialization of the agriculture sector has great benefits. [Not sure how many commercial entities are engaged in this sector, but I assume ownership is highly concentrated.] It is potentially more efficient and cost effective to cultivate the land by commercial entities than by the farmers and villagers each with their own small plots. But is there a risk that the latter will be (are already) displaced, thereby exacerbating rural poverty? Are the commercial entities truly more productive? Is anyone writing on the subject?[…]

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant