59 People charged for "organizing mass disorder"

The RA special investigating body has issued information, according to which as a result of mass violence on March 1, 180 police officers and military servicemen have received variuos degrees of phisical injuries. According to the official data, phisical injuries of also 48 citizens have been confirmed so far. From what I remember, many people avoided going to hospitals, fearing, that they would be seized by the police, hence, such a low number of injuries among civilians being reported. According to official information, at the moment 59 people have been charged for “organizing mass disorder”.

Of the 4 MPs, who were charged with the offence of “organizing mass disorder”, 2 have been detained: Myasnik Malkhasyan and Hakob Hakobyan (Lady Hakob), while the two others: Khachatur Suqiasyan (Grzo) and Sasun Mikayelyan, are wanted. Bekaisa also reported, that Alexandr Arzumnayan, head of Levon Ter-Petrossian’s electoral team has been detained. With the constitution court rulling on March 8th effectively ending the electoral process in Armenia, the presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrossian has also lost the immunity granted by his status as a presidential candidate and can be detained any moment. It is true, that as a former president, Ter-Petrossian has certain privilages too, however, according to article 56.1 of the RA Constitution:

The President of the Republic shall be immune.
The President of the Republic may not be prosecuted or held liable for actions arising from his/her status during and after his/her term of office.
The President of the Republic may be prosecuted for the actions not connected with his or her status after the expiration of his/her term of office.

So, as we can see, arrests and political persecutions continue. I’m sure, in some cases, the law enforcement bodies are quite right to do so – and I’m sure, that arresting most of the “yerkrapahs” is probably justified. However, as of now, no generals, commanders, police or servicemen seem to have been charged with illegal activities for their actions on March 1-2, nor has any high ranking official stepped down for incompetent handling of the rioters, which resulted in 8 deaths and around 200 seriously injured people. Well, what did we expect from a police state, which Armenia is turning into, anyway?

Armenian government making first steps for reconcilliation?

President Kocharyan has signed a decree today, lifting 2 restrictions out of 9, under point 4 of the State of Emergency decree. Hence, the following two restrictions are no longer applicable: 1)Temporary suspension of the activities of political parties and other nongovernmental organizations obstructing the removal of the circumstances serving as a basis for the declaration of the state of emergency. 2) Expulsion of individuals who break the regime of the state of emergency and not residing in a given territory at the expense of their means, and if they don’t have means – at the expense of the means of the Republic of Armenia state budget on the condition of the further return of the expenses made.
2. Serzh Sargsyan continues to play the good guy – restating his willingness to cooperate, discuss, etc. The newly elected president has also decided to set up his own blogs and take questions from everyone. The official blog for Serzh Sargsyan created especially for this purpose runs the following announcement:

On March 13, the RA Prime Minister, newly elected president Serzh Sargsyan will be responding to the questions of the citizens. You can send your questions via the following internet sites:
www.serzhsargsyan.am
www.panorama.am
http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com
Alternatively, you can ask your qeustions calling 080099999 phone number. The qesutions weill be accepted from March 11, starting from 10.00 o’clock, till March 12th, 21.00 o’clock.

Given the amount of tensions, suspicion and gossip in the society, this move is more then welcome, and due credit should be given to Serzh Sargsyan for attempting it. However, it remains to be seen, if the new president will indeed be prepared to face the really tough questions.
3. Other then the two positive steps mentioned above, govenment is doing little to help discharge the situation. Persecution of opposition activists continues, along with total media control and policy of disseminting state propaganda and lies.

The Electoral Process Ended in Armenia. Serzh Sargsyan is The President.

The Presidential election process has finally ended in Armenia – Serzh Sargsyan is now officially president and all legal means to challange this fact are now exhausted. The Constitutional Court rulling on March 8th rejected the appeals by the presidential candidates Levon Ter-Petrossian and Tigran Karapetyan, demanding for invalidating the results of the February 19, 2008 Presidential elections and calling new elections. It is true, that the hearings were held under a state of emergency situation in the country, and severe information blockade was also one of the factors, hindering the proper investigation and fact collection process. However, under current state of affairs, there had to be some sort of a rulling, and so we have it. In fact, the concerns about the legitimacy of the newly elected President, Serzh Sargsyan can be discarded quite easily. We are the type of society, which will accept him as president, despite the forged elections – and will nicely obey, and condemn those restless souls who keep fighting. Well – we are now a very weak and divided society. We have a weak president, weakened foreign minstry, security forces, etc. Repressions have been triggered, and it is hard to beleive, that the government will be ready to give back the rights taken away from the citizens even after the state of emergency is lifted.
The question now is not – who to blame, who started, etc. The problem is – where we are now, and where do we go from here?

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