2019 June 6
Anti-Corruption & News - 6/6/2019
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
Update: A former high ranking police official was recently arrested in suspicion of causing a March 1st protester's death. Today, he was officially charged by the prosecutors. He is facing 8-15 years.
The defendant has refused to cooperate with the prosecutors by not giving a statement. A witness came forward and said the defendant shot the victim because the latter had a stick and intended to strike the defendant with it. The defendant's lawyer denied it, saying the defendant is not the one who shot the victim.
The lawyer is challenging the pre-trial arrest and wants the defendant to be freed.
A QP MP recently said that he was harassed by Roboserj activists who, dressed in all black and moving in groups, approached him in a Cascade cafe and harassed him. The police said there was no serious assault. Later we learned that ARF members beat up an anti-ARF activist in another incident.
During today's government session, Pashinyan said the former regime's remnants have been trying to establish some ground after the revolution, which is normal and it's their right, but these desperate groups have launched a campaign of violence. These events are being well organized, and there is information that these circles and their allies have decided to form groups of men dressed all in black, who will travel around the city and create an atmosphere of fear, said PM.
He urged the law enforcement to look it it from the standpoint of public safety, stressing that it's about those who advocate violence and not the ones who simply criticize the government.
He urged the law enforcement not to hesitate to take action against those who begun to use the Freedom Square as a car playground by making dangerous maneuvers, by sending a message of lawlessness. Pashinyan says these organized groups' goal is to lower the public's perception of safety.
He added that those who advocate for violence, regardless of being pro or anti government, should face responsibility. "Those who intend to advocate violence should think 10 times before opening their mouths."
Police chief Valera Osipyan says these are people who are trying to self-establish themselves by acting as if they can do whatever they want. He said the citizens will be fine, "nothing to worry about".
Pashinyan and Education Minister have sharply criticized (unnamed Roboserj) media outlets for spreading misinformation by claiming that the government has stopped giving 20% education discounts to participants of 2016 Artsakh battles, and didn't allow them to take the exams. Education Minister said they even organized second rounds of exams for those veterans who didn't manage to give exams in the time frame. (Nikol is here to sell Artsakh away in case you didn't get the memo)
Pashinyan says these outlets have launched a hybrid war against Armenia in order to destabilize it by creating a chaos, and urged the authorities to look into it.
Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan refused to take his medications in jail as a protest, claiming the health facility is ill equipped to treat all of his health conditions. As a result, his diabetes has worsened and he was rushed to a hospital. His lawyer says he is in a bad shape. They want Manvel to be freed.
The investigators are examining a complaint by Manvel's lawyers who said the jail hospital earlier prevented them from seeing the client for a few hours.
For the first time, Armenian high school students will be able to participate in tech giant Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair, to submit their scientific research and win some of the $5mln grant. 1800 students from 75 countries.
Education Minister has welcomed the initiative as a good way to introduce interest towards science from the early years.
Armenia paid $146k last year to be a member of United Nations. This year it will be $196k, going from being 0.006% to 0.007% of entire UN's budget. Armenia was placed in the UN's "hall of fame" for making the payment on time. (who is a good boy?)
Armenia spends $5mln per year to be a member of various international organizations.
1Q19 vs 1Q18 direct investments by companies went down significantly mainly due to the legal situation around Lydian-Armenia mining company, which had the lion's share of investment, which had its operations suspended due to the ongoing environmental impact assessment. (Note: the math in the article's 1st paragraph doesn't add up with the subsequent paragraphs. It says total investments were 3.7bln, then says Russia invested 12.5bln. Calling for smart people to explain.)
On the other hand, investments from Russia have doubled in the 1Q19. Other major investors were Italy, Lebanon (lahmajo trucks on every corner), Finland, Cyprus, UAE.
Ministry of Infrastructure met the Italian ambassador. There will soon be a business forum in which 14 Italian businesses will come and discuss investments in Infrastructure, garbage collection, smart city and other areas.
There have been in average of 11 car accidents every day this year so far. 0.8 deaths and 16 wounded every day. Numbers are up from the last year.
The government recently made the heart surgery and host of other medical procedures free for 230,000 citizens. Health Minister Torosyan gives some stats:
4,904 free surgeries and complex medical procedures have been done so far, including 270 heart surgeries. 927mln state funds spent.
The government has approved changes to the law regarding excise stamp abuse by companies. Monetary penalties for small and medium size abuse (wrong excise stamp, expired, none at all) will be reduced, and the felony will be replaced with a fine. On the other hand, for larger scale abuse the punishment will get tougher.
Freedom House has found that Armenia made significant gains in democracy last year. At the same time, while the anti-Serj protests were being carried out, many media outlets were not free enough to cover Pashinyan's events in order not to give it publicity.
https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Feb2019_FH_FITW_2019_Report_ForWeb-compressed.pdf --- MAP https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/freedom-world-2019/map ---- https://armtimes.com/hy/article/163252
People are complaining that some transport drivers are still smoking on the wheel. One passenger has vowed to record and send it to the police. The fine is ~$40.
Pashinyan met Putin during the St. Petersburg business summit. They spoke about good trade, tourism and relations.
Breaking: Armenian scientists, in conjunction with the law enforcement, have discovered scientific evidence that humans have originated primarily from Neanderthals.
As part of the scientific research, the law enforcement arrested a 19 year old woman who, under the influence of soap opera movies, organized her and her niece's kidnapping to demand AMD 1,000,000 ransom from her family. (faith in humanity lost)
After receiving the sum, she returned home and learned that her mother got the money after giving all the jewelry to a pawnshop for quick cash. She then had a change of heart and admitted that she set it all up, and returned the money to the family. (faith in humanity restored)
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/bxlcos/anticorruption_news_662019/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|