Armenian journalists protest detention of bloggers and journalists in Iran?

First through Facebook, than through Unzipped I found out that a group of Armenian journalists and photographers have issued a statement protesting recent arrests and detention of their colleagues and bloggers in Iran, following disputed presidential election and post-election protests in Tehran.
While I support the statement wholeheartedly, something that fells a little uneasy about this statement is the fact, that the same “Armenian journalists and photographers” didn’t seem to move a finger when their collegues were beaten and threatened in Armenia, but in case of Iran – they dash out like this. Is there something I don’t understand?

Armenia Podcasts

Podcast: Notes from the Armenian Blogosphere

Armenian blogs discussed Iran again this week, alongside the general amnesty declared by the Armenian parliament that set free a number of jailed oppositionists ahead of the PACE session. The car-crash of two key actors from highly popular “Vorogayt” show and the death of pop-superstar Michael Jackson attracted much attention, while social networks were lively with discussions about protests staged by nationalists during the visit of Georgia’s president Mikhail Sahakashvili.
Download this 1.3 Mb mp3 version of the Armenian language podcast brining you the news and updates from the Armenian Blogosphere or listen to it online by clicking the player icon below. For the full English language text of the podcast read the rest of this entry.


"Magarich" is the magic word

Garik Papyan, my son (c)
Armenia pays a one-time allowance of AMD 50 thousand ($136 U.S.) to parents of new born children. My wife went over to the Social Security office the other day and came back  – with 49 thousand. She had to pay the 1 thousand ($3 U.S.) as “magarich” or “tip” or money to speed things up.
The social security official kept back the 1 thousand dram note, knowing that the mother of a 7-months-old child wouldn’t stand arguing for it, while the child might be crying left with the father.
I understand, that compared to some of the largescale corruption taking place in Armenia, this petty little $3 “magarich” is nopthing.  But the fact, that things like this are taken so naturally is what’s killing me.  You almost expect to be asked for a little ‘tip’ when getting in contact with any type of a small beurocrat or government official and the question always is – should I start an argument and possibly delay getting my business done for months, or should I just press my teeth and go on.


Giro v.s. Bazaz


PACE calls for continuation of "ongoing monitoring procedure" with respect to Armenia

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted in favor of resolution 1677 on Wednesday, pointing to the need to continue ongoing regular monitoring procedure with respect to Armenia.
This 4th resolution adopted by the PACE in relation to the bitter political crisis that ensued in Armenia after the disputed Presidential election in February 2008 can be seen as generally softer and more welcoming towards the steps taken by the Armenian authorities, when compared to Assembly’s earlier Resolutions 1609 (2008), 1620 (2008) and 1643 (2009).

Armenia Politics

Prominent oppositionists released on amnesty

Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and a group of his supporters released from jail pose for a photograph on 22 June, 2009 | Photolur photo, via RFE/RL

Two members of parliament,  a former foreign minister, a former deputy to Prosecutor-General among 19 or so other oppositionists, walked out of courts and were released from prison in a matter of 2 days as an amnesty put forward by President Sarkisian and approved by the National Assembly last Friday came into action.

Armenia Economy

The Government's Anti-Casino Bill

Casinos will be allowed to operate only in Tsakhadzor, Sevan and Jermuk from January 1, 2013, if a government bill proposed earlier this month passes in parliament.
While announcing the news at the government session on June 6th, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsian said it’s the ‘principal stance’ of President Serzh Sarkisian and himself, to ban casinos from operating in and near Yerevan and in central locations of the country.

Armenia Podcasts

Podcast: Armenian Blogs Divided on Amnesty

The National Assembly of Armenia adopted a decision on announcing amnesty on Friday. The initiative, put forward by the President’s administration, is primarily seen as a move to ease political tension in the society and release 56 opposition supporters charged in connection with post-election violence in Yerevan in March 2008.
Armenian blogs paid a due share of interest to the Amnesty issue. Most were interested in the fashion it was done, rather than the fact of amnesty itself, saying the move was only undertaken because of the upcoming PACE session which will very likely again discuss the functioning of democratic institutions in Armenia.
Formerly, there had been 6 cases of amnesty in Armenia – in 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2006.
This episode of the Armenian Blogosphere podcast brings views and comments from top Armenian bloggers on Amnesty and related developments.  Download the 1.1 Mb mp3 file of the podcast from here or listen to it online by clicking the player icon below.



Armenian pop-star Sirusho marries Ex-president's son

Wedding of Levon Kocharian and pop-singer Sirusho

The high-profile wedding of the Armenian pop-star Sirusho and ex-president Robert Kocharian’s son – Levon Kocharian, took place on June 6, 2009, in the “Ojakh” restaurant outside of Yerevan.

Armenia Podcasts

Podcast: Interview with Hrant Ter-Abrahamian

The Armenian Blogosphere radioprogram follows the developments between the traditional media and the blogosphere.
A couple of months ago the information website invited some known journalists, writers to blog for them.
This episode of the Armenian Blogosphere program/podcast features and interview with one of the bloggers – publicist Hrant Ter-Abrahamian about his blog.
Download the 1.5 Mb mp3 file of the podcast from here or listen to it online by clicking the player icon below.