The Devil’s Advocate

Lawyer Artur Grigoryan | փաստաբան Արթուր Գրիգորյան

Lawyer Artur Grigoryan

An Armenian lawyer has filed a suit against “Hraparak” daily newspaper for not moderating readers’ comments on the paper’s online version, which supposedly damage the lawyer’s reputation and which he c onsiders offensive. Continue reading

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Law Signed by President to Discourage Population Growth

President Serzh Sargsyan signed into law on Wednesday amendments to social legislation, which cuts the amount of maternity benefits for working mothers, causing public discontent and protests at the Presidential office. Continue reading

“7 trial” pulled apart, “political” context stripped off

The controversial trial of ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosian’s 7 prominent supporters de-facto ended today – separated into isolated cases by the ruling of judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan. The charge for “usurpation of state authority by force” was dropped, making the now separate cases against the oppositionists more “politically neutral”. RFE/RL carries the news:

The new twist in the so-called “case of the seven” resulted from the newly enacted amendments to Articles 225 and 300 of the Armenian Criminal Code used against the prominent supporters of opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian. The articles deal with provocation of street violence and “usurpation of state authority by force” respectively.

The judge ruled, that the seven oppositionists should stand separate trials for “provoking mass disorders and violence”, while the charge of “usurpation of state authority”, which was the main charge politicizing the case, was dropped. 

While this means, that the trials will continue beyond the deadline of PACE April session, it also means, that the opposition will have fewer arguments in claiming that the seven oppositionists are “political prisoners” at the PACE’s upcoming session.

It will also disperse the “high profile” cloud from the case, making it harder for the society to follow.

All of this looks like a thoroghly considered plan for putting the oppositionists in jail for good (BtW: Shant Harutyunyan’s case had been suspended earlier in March while he undergoes psychiatric examination).

It also signalls the decisive stance of the authorities to punish political dissidence as the country heads into Yerevan’s municipal elections.

Jhangiryan, former deputy prosecutor-general sentenced to 3 years

jangirian8“In a highly controversial but anticipated ruling, a Yerevan court on Monday sentenced Gagik Jahangirian, a former deputy prosecutor-general linked to the Armenian opposition, to three years in prison for allegedly resisting police during his arrest last year,” RFE/RL reports.

Watching Jhangiryan demanding justice, I could not help, but smile at the irony of the situation. Jhangiryan, formerly also Armenia’s chief military prosecutor, knows very well what the Armenian law-enforcement and judicial systems are capable of. Continue reading

A1plus wins in European Court. Meltex Ltd and Mesrop Movsesyan v. Armenia

imageI just heard the best news for the Freedom of Speech in Armenia in the course of the past 7 years! A1plus has won the case against the RA Government in the European Court of Human Rights. Check out the text of the official judgment. Congratulations – A1plus.

The Armenian authorities will have to pay EUR 30,000 to A1plus – which is of course very little, but what is more important, is the precedent. Admittedly, the Armenian government has been loosing case after case in the European Court of Human Rights in the recent months. Here’s more from A1plus:

http://a1plus.am/en/?page=issue&iid=61705

http://a1plus.am/en/?page=issue&iid=61709