Ex-President’s war on critical media: so much for a psychological portrait


Armenia’s Former President Robert Kocharian is suing pro-opposition daily “Hraparak”, adding to a list of recent trials he and his family have entered in a bid to silence all kinds of critical remarks about the ex-president.

Kocharian, who is thought to be one of the richest men in Armenia, is seeking 6 million drams ($16,200) in damages for a February 12 article which the ex-president claims insulted his “dignity and honor.” This is the maximum amount allowed by law.  This legal action comes as another Yerevan judge is expected to rule soon on Kocharian’s and his family’s libel suit against the pro-opposition “Zhamanak” daily, where they are again seeking 6 million drams in damages. And back in 2009 Kocharian’s second son Levon won a court battle with another opposition daily, “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper was fined by 3.6 million drams.

Armenian media are full of low-quality, badly sourced, gossip-filled articles. Any politician in Armenian could file hundreds of trials against newspapers. And I actually feel it could be beneficial to see some trials against media, which would make them more responsible.

However, Kocharian’s case is different with its almost frantic consistency of uprooting all sort of criticism.

While still a president and enjoying nearly authoritarian rule over Armenia, Kocharian once said that he’s the “only man” in this country. That statement alone would be enough to get one wondering about the psychological portrait of this “only man.”

His recent crusade against critical media open up new horizons for the wondering mind…

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28 thoughts on “Ex-President’s war on critical media: so much for a psychological portrait

  1. so if I stand in middle of H’raparak, holding a sign that reads:
    [edited by moderator]

    you think he’ll suit me??? LooooL :)

    he thinks he is funny with all these lawsuits. ay […], come suit me all you want, I’ll never show up in court, nor pay you 1 red dram. I’ll spit on your evil greedy mafiya oligarch MURDERING face. I’ll feed you to that Lion you slaughtered all for your evil greedy photo-op publicity stunt.

    seriously, I’m lil bit terrified of myself of what wold happen if I was with in 4-5 ft. of kocharyan and/or his family

    1. Andranik jan, I edited some offensive sections from your comment, because, technically, I am responsible for the comments published on this blog, and if Kocharian takes me to court, there’s no way I can pay 6 million AMD till the end of my life!

      1. @Observer
        lav, haskaca. cavt tanem
        arden dzez het dra masin qnnarkel em
        if you want we can get kocharyan to PAY you 6M dram
        maybe his son is GAY and we can expose that, maybe he’ll pay to keep us quiet about it

  2. Three years in the wilderness makes you restless and itchy… My creative portrait of him from 2009 accidentally looks remarkably like this photo : )http://twitpic.com/5jz3c

        1. Ani jan, you might be hurting his feelings with that…զգույշ եղի քեզ էլ դատի չտա, ախր շատ փխրուն ու զգայուն նախկին նախագե ունենք…

          1. The guy goes and kills helpless animals and cannot handle a few words about him. There must be some kind of name in medicine to describe this psychological condition.

      1. I was thinking of the same.

        The second question in my mind is: Why doesn’t our press take those cases to European court and rebuttal them and demand all the money back?

    1. Like I said above, Armenian media are full of low-quality, badly sourced, gossip-filled articles. The specific proposal, therefore, would be to stop publishing crap.

    2. One way would be to repeal the law or tighten the criteria under which one can sue the media. After all, there is such thing as freedom of speech in that piece of paper called The Constitution. Not that anyone pays attention to it anyway.

        1. I am an American and I have read a couple of examples where media has been sued. It is not as widespread as in Armenia and is not done as selectively. Most people, including public figures, will not go through the process of a lawsuit because it will attract undue attention and will be seen as an attempt to silence media.

          here is a very and excellent recap of what is done in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel#Libel

          I cannot speak for other countries.

          1. And I am from Eastern Europe, i.e. Armenia.

            And being a member of Council of Europe Armenia is given certain privileges. Any Armenian citizen or any Armenian company/organization can take a case to European court, which is believed to be independent and fair.

            Well, I believe any Armenian media that thinks it is being silenced or is not in agreement with the verdict made by the local court, or for any other valid similar reason can take any case to European court.

            Many cases against the Armenian state were won just recently in European court.

          2. @IA
            if you claim to be “american” then please dont blog about ARMENIA or say you are ARMENiAN anymore. I take it as an insult to my Haykakan identity and to my homeland Hayastan.

            if you want to be amerikaci, then ara go be amerika, irenq qez en spasum vor bow down anes irenc.
            any so-called Hay out there who claims another identity along side ARMENIAN, is insulting the history of Armenian people and nation.

          3. @AIm, we certainly saw, with the example of the A1Plus and the implementation of the verdict by the European Court by the Armenian government. That sole example should be enough to see how seriously the Armenian government takes the decisions made as a result of the EC membership.

            If after that anyone thinks that the Armenian government or former and current apparatchiks care about freedom of speech, I would be very surprised.

      1. I think the law is OK, in fact, I’d be against revising it any further, because in reality there are two problems:
        1. Armenian media lack professionalilsm
        2. Courts will rule against the media even if their guilt has not been proven, because our courts are not independent.

        Here’s the opinion of Mesrop Harutyunian, highly respected and independent media expert, who says “The guilt of the law is not proven” http://media.am/mesrop-harutyunyan-law

    3. @A.im
      sure there is, put a bu**et in his head…problem solved !

      recently I was watching tom cruise film “Valkyrie” (2008) on tv. its about the plot of killing the dicatator (the fuhrer) hitler and taking back germany from his nazi-ss-geshtapo evil regime and there is a scene where the explosive expert says to col. shtaffenberg: any problem on earth can be solved with a careful application of high-explosives.

      I think you all can figure out what I’m trying to incite here

      1. Andranik, calls for violence and acts of terror are not welcome on this blog. Please consider carefully your words, because I might be forced to ban further comments along these lines.

        P.S. Nothing personal, just business :))))

        1. @observer
          but not even for “special” needs person as robik mobik :(
          there is an old saying: sometimes the blood of tyrants are required to bring about a revolutionary change

          the guy in the movie is very correct
          “any problem on earth can be solved with a careful application of high-explosives”

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