YPC Weekly Newsletter
November 10-16

On November 14 the twenty-first talk show of “Press Club+” series went on the evening air of “Yerkir-Media” TV company.

The invitees of the program host, the Chief Editor of “Aravot” daily Aram Abrahamian were the leaders of “Respublika” party as guests, and NGO representatives as experts. The TV discussion focused on public control over the power structures and elections to the two Congress houses held on November 7 in the USA.

It is expected that at 21.00, November 21 (next Tuesday) “Yerkir-Media” will air another “Press Club+” show where the representatives of People's Party of Armenia will share their opinions on the issues of the day.


On November 10 the RA Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsian announced to media that the request of the Chief Editor of “Zhamanak-Yerevan” daily Arman Babajanian to apply in his case the RA Law “On Citizens Who Have Not Taken Mandatory Military Service with Procedural Violations” is not subject for consideration. As it has been reported, on September 8, 2006 Arman Babajanian was sentenced by the court of primary jurisdiction to 4 years’ imprisonment for document fraud to avoid military service; presently his appeal is heard by the court of second jurisdiction. On October 16 Arman Babajanian addressed the Military Commissariat of Shengavit community of Yerevan asking for a legal military service exemption. The request should be considered within a month by a special interdepartmental commission, headed by the RA Minister of Defense (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, November 3-9, 2006).

Responding to the journalists' questions after the expanded session of the Academic Council of the Yerevan State University, the RA Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsian noted, in particular: “We have a written conclusion saying the commission is not competent to consider the cases on which the court verdict is already made. This is certain. The commission cannot be superior to the court, can it? The mission of the commission is to consider the problems of all those who volunteered to report to the military authorities” (quoted by “Hayastani Hanrapetutiun” daily, November 11, 2006).

As YPC was told by the attorney of the Chief Editor of “Zhamanak-Yerevan” Zaruhi Postanjian, no official response to the request of Arman Babajanian has as yet been received.


On November 10 the Prosecutor’s Office of Erebuni and Nubarashen communities of Yerevan stopped the investigation into the attack on free-lance correspondent of “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun” and “Aravot” newspapers Gagik Shamshian. It should be noted that on July 12 Gagik Shamshian who then resided in Nubarashen was harassed by the relatives and subordinates of the Nubarashen community head Mher Hovhannisian due to an article published earlier in “Chorrord Ishkhanutiun” (the publication told in particular about the two relatives of the Nubarashen head, charged with a Yerevan bank robbery). The Prosecutor’s Office of Erebuni and Nubarashen instituted criminal proceedings on Article 164 ("The impediment of the legitimate professional activities of journalist”), part 1 of Article 176 (“Robbery”) and part 3 of Article 258 (“Public Disorder”) of the RA Criminal Code. On August 3 Erebuni Investigation Department of the Main Investigation Department of the RA Police instituted criminal proceedings against Gagik Shamshian himself - as the journalist was explained at the police, this was based on the appeals made by a number of citizens. Gagik Shamshian was charged on part 1 Article 136 (“Insult”), parts 1 and 2 of Article 178 (“Cheating”) and part 1 Article 182 (“Extortion”) of the RA Criminal Code. The journalist did not plead guilty on any of the episodes (see details in YPC Weekly Newsletter, September 1-7, 2006). On October 17 Gagik Shamshian underwent a forensic examination, by which his capacity was confirmed.

As YPC was informed by the attorney of Gagik Shamshian Zaruhi Postanjian, the case in which her defendant was an injured party is discontinued by the Prosecutor’s Office of Erebuni and Nubarashen due to the absence “of sufficient proofs of corpus delicti in the actions of the suspects”. Zaruhi Postanjian noted she was going to challenge this decision at a higher prosecuting body.

Zaruhi Postanjian informed also that in the other case, where Gagik Shamshian is the suspect, the investigation is drawing to close.


As YPC was informed by the Chief Editor of “Pakagits” daily Agapi Haikazuni, on November 9 compulsory executors came to the editorial office and presented a document, authorizing them to move the property out of the office. The property was arrested in accordance with the ruling of the court of primary jurisdiction of Erebuni and Nubarashen communities of Yerevan, basing on the suit of Daniel Tanian who had financial claims to “Pakagits” founder, “Agap-Hrat” LLC, of 8.5 million AMD (around $ 22,000). As Agapi Haikazuni said, she had been completely unaware of the suit and so had refused to sign the document. On the same day, Agapi Haikazuni noted, late in the evening on November 9, the compulsory executors returned the property to the newspaper, saying a misunderstanding had occurred. However, the regular “Pakagits” issuance was disrupted for a day. Agapi Haikazuni related the incident to the number of pieces of the daily that criticized the authorities of the country.

The incident received attention from the Armenian press. Thus, in its issue of November 11, 2006 “Hayots Ashkhar” daily published an article, “When a Property Issue is Replaced by a Political One”, informing that on October 30 the attorney of Daniel Tanian submitted a motion to the court of primary jurisdiction of Erebuni and Nubarashen communities of Yerevan requesting to take measures for ensuring the suit. The motion was secured, and the bank account of “Agap-Hrat” LLC was arrested. However, when it turned out the account had less money than the amount demanded by the plaintiff, the RA Service of Compulsory Execution of Court Acts resolved to arrest the property of “Agap-Hrat”. The resolution about the withdrawal of the property and its storage at the Service of Compulsory Execution was made after Agapi Haikazuni refused to signed the respective document, “Hayots Ashkhar” informs. The article also featured the comment of the head of the Service of Compulsory Execution Arkadiy Balayan, noting, in particular, that his officers in their actions complied with the law. Arkadiy Balayan also noted that the property of “Agap-Hrat” was returned not because “a misunderstanding had occurred”, but when Agapi Haikazuni agreed to accept it for storage (having signed a relevant document).

In its issue of November 11 “Pakagits” published a photo report of the incident. In the next issue, of November 14, the daily wrote that Daniel Tanian is a member of “Democracy and Labor” party, whose premises “Agap-Hrat” used to rent. As “Pakagits” maintains, the relations with this party were stopped about a year ago. According to the daily, the bank account of “Agap-Hrat” released from arrest, and Daniel Tanian addressed the court to stop the litigation. “Pakagits” also published the aquittance of Daniel Tanian to the effect that “’Agap-Hrat’ LLC does not owe him 8.5 mln AMD”.


Recently the Armenian media published and commented on the statements of “New Times” and “Orinats Yerkir” parties that the authorities block them from getting TV air or use television to degrade their activities.

On November 7 the Board of “New Times” party addressed a letter to the diplomatic missions accredited in Armenia. The letter said in particular that “the Chairman of the party Aram Karapetian for a year and a half has been deprived of a chance to hold civilized political debate on major issues faced by the country on live air”. It was stressed at the same time that Aram Karapetian “is ready to pay for his appearance on air within reason”. In the opinion of the “New Times” Board, the order of the communication blockade of the party and its leader was given by the Director of the RA National Security Service Gorik Hakobian and the RA Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsian, and its implementation - upon the order of the RA Robert Kocharian - is controlled by the head of the President’s Office Armen Gevorgian. The party also recalled that its leader was the fourth by the number of votes gained at presidential elections in 2003.

On November 10 “Armenpress” news agency released the comment of the RA President’s Press Secretary Viktor Soghomonian: “Apparently by statements of this kind that have nothing to do with reality Mr. Karapetian seeks to remind us about himself. In fact, the activities of Aram Karapetian are of no interest to us and will hardly be of any interest in future.”

Earlier, on November 6 “Orinats Yerkir” party addressed the RA General Prosecutor’s Office with a demand to find and hold to account the orderers of the TV pieces, degrading the party and its leader, the former Speaker of the RA National Assembly Artur Baghdasarian. This was announced on November 7 at a press-conference of the Vice-Chairman of the party Mher Shahgeldian and the Secretary of “Orinats Yerkir” parliament faction Heghine Bisharian. In their opinion, the client of the “black PR” campaign against “Orinats Yerkir” is the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) with its leaders, the RA Prime Minister Andranik Margarian and the RA Minister of Defense Serzh Sargsian.

In his interview to “Hayastani Hanrapetutiun” daily (November 8, 2006) the Speaker of the RA National Assembly, RPA Vice-Chairman Tigran Torosian noted that a response to this statement of “Orinats Yerkir” should be given by law enforcement bodies. In the next issue (November 9, 2006) “Hayastani Hanrapetutiun” published interview with the RA General Prosecutor Aghvan Hovsepian that thinks the statements of “New Times" and “Orinats Yerkir” to be political in essence: “Recently attempts are made to transform the Prosecutor’s Office into a place where statements of politicians are checked or to involve the Prosecutor’s Office in political debate.” Aghvan Hovsepian also added that the Prosecutor’s Office does not engage in interparty relations and he is not going to respond to such statements.


On November 9 at Moscow cinema of Yerevan photo exhibition ”Women and War” was opened by the International Committee of Red Cross. The photos of women in “hot spots” of the world were first exhibited in 2002 in Amman, and since then they have been traveling around the globe - Geneva, Paris, Beirut, Budapest, Tashkent, Moscow, Nalchik, Nazran, Grozny, Khasavyurt and Baku. The Yerevan exposition shows 50 photographs, 6 of which were made by Armenian photo journalists in Mountainous Karabagh and Lebanon.

The exhibition in Yerevan will be on till November 22.


On November 10 “Hayrenik” TV company celebrated the fifth anniversary since the start of its permanent broadcasts on Armenian air.

Yerevan Press Club congratulates colleagues on the jubilee, wishes them success and prosperity.

When reprinting or using the information above, reference to the Yerevan Press Club is required.

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Editor of YPC Newsletter - Elina POGHOSBEKIAN

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