Lilly Sargsyan wins 'Miss Armenia 2017' beauty contest

 

'Miss Armenia 2017' beauty contest took place at the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Al. Spendiaryan in Yerevan, Armenia
‘Miss Armenia 2017’ beauty contest took place at the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Al. Spendiaryan in Yerevan, Armenia | Photo by Photolure

After a 5-year break a beauty pageant was held again in Armenia. The title of “Miss Armenia 2017” was issued to Lilly Sargsyan. The 17-year-old will represent Armenia in the Miss World 2017 contest which will be held in China in November.
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Armenian Traffic Police have wearable cameras and they're not afraid to use them

Portable cameras worn by Traffic Police officers in Armenia
Wearable cameras used by Traffic Police officers in Armenia

Armenian Traffic Police have been required to wear special surveillance cameras since June 2016. The cameras were introduced as part of the Government’s anti-corruption efforts [More info about cameras in this video]. A controversial incident on September 4th, which has caused a bit of uproar around the Armenian segment of the internet, has raised many questions about these cameras.
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Armenians Have The Strongest Opinions on Moral Issues in Eastern Europe

I came across this interesting info-graphic by RFE/RL on social views and morality in the Eastern European countries. What I found most startling, however, was just how unanimous are the views in Armenia: 96% disapprove drug use and prostitution, 98% disapprove homosexuality, 79% disapprove premarital sex. This is perhaps the result of having such a homogeneous society, 98.1% of the population are ethnic Armenians according to the latest population census.
Understandably, this creates a situation, where dissent is not tolerated. I remember the struggles I had in the 90’s, when I had long hair and a beard in highly conservative Gyumri. Luckily, this has changed a great deal now and men having long hair and beards are not fawned upon so badly anymore. Still, this info-graphic is truly disturbing to me, because it reveals lack of diversity and tolerance in the society.
Infographic on what people find morally wrong in Eastern Europe

Armenia: Limited Justice for Police Violence

One-Sided Prosecutions Year After Attacks on Protesters, Journalists

Riot police and barbed wire block protestors from marching down Baghramyan Street in downtown Yerevan on July 30, 2016. © 2016 Giorgi Gogia/Human Rights Watch
Riot police and barbed wire block protestors from marching down Baghramyan Street in downtown Yerevan on July 30, 2016. © 2016 Giorgi Gogia/Human Rights Watch

(Yerevan) –  The Armenian government has failed to ensure full accountability for police violence against largely peaceful protesters and journalists a year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. At the same time the authorities have indicted at least 32 protesters, convicting 21 of them, with 11 sentenced to prison. Continue reading “Armenia: Limited Justice for Police Violence”

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Freedom on The Net 2016 report, interactive map by Freedom House

Internet Freedom declines in Armenia

Freedom House published its “Freedom on the Net 2016” report on Monday. Armenia retained its position among the countries with free internet (the report covers June 2015 – May 2016), but its overall score declined by two points and the country came really close to the “partly free” category, which was mostly due to the police violence against journalists (including myself) during the #ElectricYerevan protests as well as the increased self-self-censorhip during the 4 day war with Azerbaijan in April 2016.  Continue reading “Internet Freedom declines in Armenia”

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