2019 February 11

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Feb/11/2019: \\ Ability to recall mayors \\ officials arrested and charged for bribery \\ Constitutional Court \\ Give uncle Rob a laptop \\ many more below....
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.

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The head of Dilijan's social security department has been detained for 2 months, after the court approved prosecutor's petition. He was charged with bribery and extorting poor residents of money under the threats of removing them from the aid recipient database, between 2016-2018.

5 criminal charges are pressed against 6 workers.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154360

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Ara Minasyan, Serj's fugitive hospital director relative, who is on the run and has an arrest warrant for him for allegedly conspiring to steal 400mln from the state through St. Gregory Illuminator hospital, is suing Health Minister for alleged defamation.

Last year we learned that the hospital ran by Minasyan had systematically over-billed the state. E.g., a service that costed only 8k was billed as 200k, a patient who gave a simple blood test was written as a patient who spent several days in the hospital, all with the intention of stealing subsidy funds from the state.

A patient-turned-witness also came forward confirming they never received the services that was written under their name, after the Ministry contacted them.

Minasyan wants Minister Torosyan to apologize on Facebook. Torosyan wants Minasyan to appear in court. It's unclear how that would happen, since Minasyan is on the run. It's possible that his father could appear.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154385

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Army spokesman releases a statement citing the law denying the claim by FIP that some of the military personal who accompanied the humanitarian workers to Aleppo, were sent illegally.

On Friday, a group of Armenian humanitarian workers, sappers and guards accompanying them, arrived in Syria to help the local Armenian community with de-mining and other humanitarian activities.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154332

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Human Rights Ombudsman's office had earlier challenged several laws in the Constitutional Court.

The Court has ruled that it is unconstitutional to automatically prevent inmates in solitary confinement from having visitors or phone calls. Complete isolation can be permitted only if it's necessary for the nature of the punishment for which the inmate is in the solitary confinement.

Court also found that religious literature isn't the only type that can have a positive impact on the inmate's behavior, and other materials can also be given to them.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963741.html

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Robert Kocharyan is complaining that he doesn't have a computer in the jail cell. He feels lonely in the small jail cell and wants to be placed with another inmate. The Human Rights Ombudsman's discussion with the workers has resulted in satisfying one of Kocharyan's demands, which was the ability to meet family, which was limited by them earlier.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154376

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Pashinyan: Davos World Economic Forum has recognized Armenia's anti-corruption and anti-monopoly works since the 2018 revolution. As a result, Armenia has received 9 points in the Monopolization Index, and is at the 19th place in the world.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963673.html

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President Sarkissian met Nestle Waters representative. The company has agreed to visit Armenia and explore business and water management possibilities. The company owns popular bottled water brands such as Arrowhead, Pure Life, Ice Mountain, Perrier.

(The company has been criticized in past by several US cities for using too much of the local waters for its bottled water business.)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963722.html

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Environmentalist: 80% of the waters that accumulate in Armenia are being wasted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xl3JgNm7U4

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The government is discussing the reforms in ambulance services to address the over-working and stress complaints by workers who receive too many calls. Here are some details:

The public will be educated on what is an emergency and what is not. Many of the 911 calls aren't for an emergency.

Patients with known chronic illnesses, whose condition is already known, may be served with lesser-urgency medical units at the scene. The proposal has been implemented in Yerevan and so far it has already reduced emergency

calls by 20%.

Emergency departments' building conditions and conveniences will be improved for the workers. 540 emergency workers will receive government-issued healthcare (provincial workers already have it).

The funding for emergency departments has increased by 53mln.

Other details: In cities, ambulances must arrive no later than within 15 minutes form the call, or 20 minute on winter. 30 minutes to reach villages.

In Yerevan, there are 49 residents who call ambulance 5 times a day, every day.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154258

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The government will provide 10bln in subsidies to help finish various infrastructure projects in provinces. They plan to lower the minimum project cost limit to 3mln, so more smaller projects will qualify.

There will be a nationwide cleanup day (շաբաթօրյակ) on March 23rd, the biggest since 2016. Pashinyan has noted that he will see a progress in the work towards making the country more beautiful and appealing only when they get rid of trash (he complained that in past they collected trash but moved it elsewhere), remove illegal and ugly krpaks, and car skeletons scattered all over the place.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/265327/ ---- https://news.am/arm/news/495730.html

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QP MP Hrachya Hakobyan fell victim of a false-report brigading attack on Facebook.

He supported changes to the law to limit gambling advertisements, as part of an initiative to combat gambling addiction. He created a Facebook poll which showed that 90% of the participants were in favor.

Few hours later, employees of various gambling businesses swarmed his account, voted against the initiative, left high volumes of negative comments, and apparently false-reported his page, which resulted in his Facebook page being suspended. People also begun creating accounts under his name, which he reported and had Facebook ban them.

He sent his passport data to Facebook, which restored the access to the account.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154312

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QP Alen Simonyan has proposed a bill to ban gambling kiosks in gas stations and restrict bookmaker services in public areas. The bill was discussed last year but HHK blocked its placement on the floor, says Simonyan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963761.html

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Another bill has been proposed to compensate the victims of March 1st, 2008 and July, 2016 (protests during Sasna Tsrer hostage takeover) events.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963766.html

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Another bill is being discussed by Simonyan, which may bring back the Daylight Saving Time and save the population 10% on electricity bills by changing the clock. It was repealed on 2012.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963766.html

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Human Rights Ombudsman will request the Defense Ministry to explain why the news about the death of a serviceman was published a month late. The Parliamentary commission that oversees defense issues, will also investigate to find out why the news was delayed.

A criminal case was launched earlier after a soldier committed a suicide, allegedly after having issues with others in the unit.

Update: The Defense Ministry has responded saying the information was available to the public almost immediately, but wasn't properly communicated.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963832.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963830.html

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The Parliamentary defense commission will also discuss with Defense Ministry the list of illnesses that disqualify the servicemen from the military.

Chairman of the committee believes the rules are currently too strict, and people with some health conditions could have non-frontline duties in other parts of the army.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963837.html

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Minister of Territorial Development says 30% of workers in governor's offices could be laid off as part of a government optimization program. It will be done through an employee performance assessment.

The most qualified workers will be kept and others to be hired. The process has begun since last October.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154404

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The Ministry has also proposed an amendment to the law to allow citizens to recall their mayors and hold new elections through a referendum.

(At the moment, residents of some villages complain about their mayors but have no way to force new elections.)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963818.html

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Ejmiatsin's new mayor's office has finished the year with 40mln in savings. They plan to begin road repair work soon.

Things have calmed down in the city since the release and re-arrest of Manvel Grigoryan, said the mayor. One of Manvel's illegally obtained lands has already been returned to the state. (Manvel is from Ejmiatsin)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963820.html

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2018 vs 2017: Textile manufacturing up 77%, food industry 10.3%, process manufacturing 10%, cigarette industry 8.4%.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/154390

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Yerevan mayor Marutyan has asked the garbage collector Sanitek to increase the number of garbage bins from 5000 to 8000

to meet the demands and the contract.

The website "active citizens", which will allow Yerevan citizens to better communicate with city administration with their ideas and complaints, is still under construction.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963793.html

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Yerevan municipality will no longer hire a private company to do the dog catching job. The new organization will be under the supervision of the municipality, will be non-profit. It'll have a veterinary and shelter. Foreign specialists will help the city with their expertise.

6000 female dogs are in the registry. 4500 will be spayed and neutered (chop chop ✂) on the first year. Some will be euthanized, or given to families and animal care agencies, or released back after being neutered. % https://www.lragir.am/2019/02/11/416893/

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The proposal to build 175 new wheelchair ramps and 50 tactile pavings for the blind in the Yerevan streets is moving forward. It'll be finished by the end of the year. 2450 such ramps were built in the city in the past 5 years, many with standards violations not suited for wheelchairs. 10cm elevation requires a 1 meter ramp.

https://youtu.be/4rRbuOXeSVc?t=25

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Iran will soon ratify the free trade zone agreement between EAEU economic bloc. Once Armenia and Kyrgyzstan ratify it, Iran will increase its trade with EAEU nations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963693.html

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HHK MP and former Justice Minister Arpine Hovhanisyan has quit the party and will work as a lawyer.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963749.html

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4 Indian citizens were told by an Indian tourism agency that they could help them get high paying job in Armenia if the tourists bought their services, plus extra cash for bringing a friend 🚩.

The tourists accepted the offer and went to Armenia. Few days later they realized they were scammed, and asked the Indian state for help. The Indian authorities have arrested several of the tourism agency workers. The tourists are back in India now.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963665.html ------ https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963690.html

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WBO youth world boxing champion Gor Yeritsyan has won the 10th consecutive victory, defeating Argmentine's Maximiliano Scalzone.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/963718.html

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/aplzle/anticorruption_feb112019_ability_to_recall_mayors/

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