Pamphlet: "Why judges are afraid, but aren't stupid…"

In the magic land of Armenia, the legal order was proving its efficiency. Trials of law-breakers were proceeding so fast no one could keep track of them.
Not even judges. They could hardly keep order in their courtrooms but they were intent on keeping order in the country.
This time the magic had become more magical than ever. Not a single law enforcement officer had broken the law. On the contrary, order had been disrupted by citizens who did not agree with the authorities; and that was breaking the law.That citizens had been killed did not figure in any of the trials in this land of magic.
Justice was swift for the citizen law-breakers. Investigations of suspicious activities by the authorities would take a long time. One had to be very careful when the possibility of lawlessness might involve the authorities. One had to be very, very careful. Bless the judges who, in their infinite wisdom, could distinguish between what was self-evident: common citizens, enemies of the state and the only ones who could break the law; and the state, that could never break any law. After all, weren’t its servants the ones were the law.
One should feel strong sympathy for the judges. This is really a difficult time for them. They are all decent people, they have families and friends, neighbors and relatives. The magic land of Armenia is a village, everyone is related to everyone else. Somehow. Who knows who could appear in their courtroom?
These are difficult times. Judges are people who have read the law, well, at least have heard of them. Some of them even have experience navigating between the set of laws that are in the books and the real law that governs the state.
But the law that governs the state is the one that counts. They all know it. Should any judge decide to think of the laws of the land as being above that of the authorities, they would remember their unfortunate colleague who was summarily dismissed because he defied the legality of the arrest order of an opponent of the administration. And that was before the presidential elections. How much swifter would justice be for any of them if they strayed from the program set by the administration!
“Do you know how much it cost me and my relatives to get me into law school,” one judge confided, “and what it costs me to be a judge and remain a judge?”
He could still rely on the principle of the law, his young son had argued.
“Do I look like an idiot to you?” retorted the judge and reminded him of the good life he had offered the unruly offspring.
But the judge cared about his son and what his son thought of him. “Judges are there to interpret the law and to decide what laws are to be applied against whom, when, and under what circumstances”, he explained to his son. “In a way, I am doing my job, son.”
Since time immemorial which, for judges goes as far back as the Soviet period, judges have been good servants of the state. Knowledge of the law was an excuse to live better. (Unless, of course, you were a dissident. In that case knowledge of the law was an excuse for the authorities to send you to an insane asylum.)
From Soviet times judges and prosecutors had learned not to display their wealth. Still, there were two categories of judges and prosecutors. Those who took money because of need and those did it for sheer greed. The first settled down and sometimes even dispensed justice. The latter took money, always, as a matter principle. There were always ways to improve and upgrade one’s living standards, however high they were to start with.
Attempts to improve the dispensing of justice were not very successful. But now all of that does not matter. Now these poor judges and prosecutors don’t have the luxury of that refined distinction.
Now they are all afraid. The law of fear is higher than any other law. The fear of the law that is above any law. Who knows what accident may fall upon their careers or lives?
So the distraught judges are judging the new dissidents brought to their courts by even more distraught prosecutors. The problem is that the new dissidents are not dissidents. They are the majority. No law or resolution will reduce them to dissidents.
And these judges and prosecutors know it. Just because they are afraid or corrupt does not mean they are stupid. More important, they cannot be made stupid. Their own sons and the daughters of their neighbors will make sure of that.
Have you seen those judges leaving the courtrooms in the middle of a trial and the prosecutors deciding not to have dinner out? Unless at a secured restaurant and with other prosecutors? A minor inconvenience, maybe. There are laws that are above the unwritten laws that are above the written laws.
Where I live, the even more magical land of Russia, these are all known processes. In many ways, Russia has served as an example to the magicians of Armenia who could manufacture an election and hope to engineer a society.
But no, in this case, Armenia has moved ahead.
Dissidents are still dissidents in Russia.
Not in Armenia.

By Grigor Kharkiev, Moscow

Via Tzitzernak

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. //The law of fear is higher than any other law.//
    well said.

  2. We have created and developed the law of fear. And each of us is guilty in the death of these people. So do not blam just our authorities!

  3. good point, Armausiness: as long as people sell their votes for bags of flour, people will buy them. at some point people have to stand up and take the short term pain for the long term health of their country. that’s patriotism and we haven’t see a lot of it.
    however, like it or not, there are some of those patriots in jail now. not everyone is some ltp zombie as the anti- ‘radical’ opposition would have you believe. some really believe and have given their whole life trying for the country.

  4. ace – there are good people in prison. there are good people in government. the demonizing or deifying is done by people to split the nation into us vs them.

  5. agreed. but the good people in government are free and with their families!!! the good people in government are too p-ssy to speak up. those that would, would find themselves out of work and….you got it: part of the ‘radical’ opposition by default.
    so you set up a situation where people either shut up and just enjoy what they have or be subject to marginlization by (in part) yourself – with the continuous focus on the ‘but ltp did this stuff’ and that the opposition = ltp zombie crap of the past months.

  6. Well, I am sorry to say that the polarization was introduced into the game by LTP during his campaign. This of course does not justify the ignoring of political prisoners who are truly innocent (not sure if there are any, or if they are all innocent, just stating the point as one of principle).
    LTP chose the style of this game, and now his followers are bearing some of the consequences. Sad, but understandable. I did not subject those people to marginalization. LTP himself did with his “you are with me or you are a traitor” BS. So pls understand that I feel no responsibility for this marginalization.

  7. AH
    what do you mean “there are good people in prison” and “there are good people in government”?
    It’s government who has put “the good people” in prison, therefore there can be no good people in such a government. IF there are good people, they should at least resign, (You see I am not saying they should join the opposition) Otherwise they all
    share the responsibilty of putting “good people” into prison.
    and marginalization? what marginalization? 25 % according to official data, and much more in reality, is marginalization? thousands standing in the square for 10 days is marginalization?
    protests which continue despite the ban on large manifestation is marginalization?
    if that’s marginalization, then I want to be marginal
    And I am sure Serzhik who wasn’t able to keep a couple of thousands people in his meeting for two hours, would be dreaming about such marginalization
    as for teh splitting the nation – why don’t you watch on Youtube Dodi Gago’s daughter’s wedding? Compare it with a life of an agricultural worker raising potatoes in Gavar region and you’ll understand that the nation has been split long ago by Kocharyan and his oligarchs. The divided the nation into those who have everything and those who have nothing, into those who are allowed to break the law, and those to whom their basic rights are denied.

  8. Ace,
    people have stopped selling their voices for flour.
    they voted, and they voted for Levon. you might not be happy with their choice,
    but they made it.
    but the period when it was possible to buy voices with bags of flour is over.
    Buying people doesn’t work any more. Now, the only resort of the regime is scaring people by myths of “Judeo-Massonic conspiracy” of Levon.
    And those who are not scared by those tales are killed, beaten down or put in prison.
    not “each of us is guilty” – only those who openly or silently supported Robert’s
    actions are guilty. Those who stood up to fight for their rights don’t have anything to do with this guilt.

  9. Good people in prison means there may be good people who did some criminal act. There may be good people who showed bad judgment in following along something hovering a line between a peaceful demonstration and a coup attempt. There may be good people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, associating with criminals. I think these are strange reasons for good people to quit government. I have not heard of that happening in any country. There are probably some very good people in the recent polygamist cult event in Texas who are now in prison.
    The marginalization word use was not introduced by me. Read the above again.
    So what is your point about the nation being split…it was one happy unified equally prosperous family until Dodi Gago and Kocharian came and took the Gavartsi’s potatoes?
    I think we are all more knowledgeable on the history of the origin of oligarchs in Armenia that this, and also much less naive.

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