2020 June 3

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/3/2020 News: (1) Masks required everywhere (2) Shareholder transparency (3) Police reform (4) COVID vs employment (5) Protesters flip a car (6) Gloria factory bolola (7) Oghakadzev Park (8) Rocket found (9) Video in courts (10) Child interrogation reform (11) Fuel $ -31% (12) kalashnikov factory
by ar_david_hh

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. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


century-old bolola

Here is the deal...

1918: Armenia becomes independent and starts looking for a big country to act as its "sponsor". Crickets...

1919-March: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson finally agrees. Armenia sends Avetis Aharonian to Paris to meet the U.S. delegation. He stresses that unless the U.S. helps Armenia, the latter is lost.

1919-April: Woodrow himself meets Aharonyan. Agrees to help Armenia.

1919-May: Woodrow officially agrees to be the arbiter of Armenian borders, and sends a request to Senate for permission.

1919-June: Senate gives Woodrow and Armenia a middle finger.

1919-late: Armenians still hope the U.S. will help. The latter sends humanitarian aid, saving many from hunger.

1920-August: Armenia signs 2 treaties. One of them in Sevres which would reunite the Western Armenian lands. The second treaty in Tbilisi was about declaring Artsakh, Zangezur, and Nakhijevan, the 3 regions disputed by AM and AZ, as "temporarily occupied by Russia".

1920-November-22: a revolution happened in Turkey and its new government fought a war against Armenia, forcing Armenians to reject the Sevres Treaty by signing a new treaty in Gyumri. Meanwhile, Bolshevik Russians and Kemal Turks colluded to further split Armenian lands.

1920-December-3 morning: Dashnaks peacefully transfer the power to bolsheviks, as agreed upon earlier.

1920-December-3 afternoon: Armenia finalizes the peace treaty with Turkey.

If Twitter was around at the time, would the servers handle the load? #KarsIsOverParty #DashnakLivesMatter

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/06/01/ԱՄՆ-ը-մերժեց-Հայաստանի-մանդատը-մենք-հրաժարվեցինք-Սևրից/386147

villagers find a missile

Akunq villagers called 911 after finding a rocket-like object. The Emergency Ministry dispatched a crew which found a 120cm 3-wing missile 20km away from the village, in an agricultural field. The army sappers took it away.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189344

former Prime Minister in hot water over comments

While criticizing the COVID situation and Pashinyan administration's performance, ex-PM Hrant Bagratyan said, "if I were Ilham Aliyev, I'd attack Armenia in 3-4 months".

Defense Ministry criticized Bagratyan's comments, saying it only serves Azerbaijan's interests.

"Let Bagratyan go to Azerbaijan and work for Aliyev. He'd ruin their country in 4 months [criticizes Bagratyan's performance as PM]," said one political analyst.

https://youtu.be/eMZ71Sn3Knc

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189402

https://medialab.am/70321/

https://factor.am/256093.html

Armenia records first Kawasaki case caused by COVID19

Weeks earlier, Healthcare Minister Torosyan said they're monitoring EU and USA, where COVID caused hundreds of <5yo kids to developt the Kawasaki autoimmune disorder. 1-in-1,000 COVID kids get it.

Meds were purchased so Armenia would be prepared. Today a 4yo Armenian kid was diagnosed with it.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189347

https://factor.am/256209.html

COVID unemployment

In the past 4 months, 12k workers lost their jobs and taxable trade -20%. There was a pre-COVID growth in 2020 Jan-Feb vs 2019 Jan-Feb.

--

In April vs March, 74k workers didn't receive a paycheck.

Jan: 604k paychecks

Feb: 619k

Mar: 621k

Apr: 547k

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017256.html

https://hetq.am/hy/article/117837

COVID stats

+515 infected. +27 healed. +15 deaths. 6841 active.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189354

dozens arrested after bazaar protest

Yesterday dozens of Meimandar bazaar traders protested after the Emergency Taskforce decided to shut down the bazaar for 1 day for ignoring COVID safety rules.

When the cops came to shut it down, a crowd of a few dozen men protested. They flipped a vehicle. The police conducted raids and detained a few dozen. They arrested 2.

The bazaar is closed.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189348

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189360

Factory workers test positive / Director threatens to sue govt over shutdown

After a lengthy shutdown, "Gloria" and other factories were allowed to operate again, under the condition of following safety. Workers had complained about poverty.

Yesterday Pashinyan posted a picture of Gloria factory workers ignoring COVID rules and overcrowding in a bus. The factory was shut down for 3 days.

Test results came in today. 17 out of 37 workers were infected. It's unclear if the bus played a role.

Factory director Bagrat Darbinyan said:

I only leased a bus for my workers. It's not my fault that the driver didn't prevent overcrowding.... The photo showing overcrowding could be Photoshopped... I might sue the govt and ask for compensation for $20,000 in damages for being forced to close for 3 days.

--

Local auditors said 19 businesses were similarly closed in Gyumri today. About a hundred in both cities combined, this week alone.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189349

Pashinyan responds to reports:

Our study shows the biggest spreaders are banks and HayPost. Should we place cops at every location? I spoke with police chief about it. We can't force every citizen to follow safety. It's up to the individual's mentality. We're running out of hospital beds, guys.

For some reason, those who wear a mask are perceived as a 2nd class citizen, while those who don't are macho.

(While responding to Meimandar bazaar protest) Should we bring Spetsnaz with bats and start beating the crowd to send them home? We can't do that to people; that's how you treat criminal circles. We can't beat people for not caring about their own health. 3 dozen protesters were arrested this morning. Some will face felony charges.

Some people keep mentioning the Artsakh presidential inauguration photo. It happened in Artsakh, not in Armenia, and the rules were respected. (Armenian delegation was tested before visiting Artsakh. Artsakh prez was tested after the party. Artsakh has fewer cases).

Some municipalities organized parties for kids on June 1st. The public itself should pressure others to respect safety.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189350

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189368

PM's online flash mob

Yesterday PM asked social media users to join a flash mob and post examples of good and bad safety practices to raise awareness about the issue. PM shared dozens of photos of unprotected overcrowding, also queue lines where people followed rules.

PM said: thanks for participating in the online flashmob. After this, we noticed a change in attitude in some areas. We'll continue the flashmob to highlight where the problems are.

If 10-30% of the population ignored safety, maybe using the police could help, but when the majority ignores it, the law enforcement's efforts are futile.

Yes, 357 fewer people died in 2020 vs 2019, but don't let that mislead you into thinking the situation isn't bad.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189337

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189345

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189413

school directors get warnings

Education Ministry warned 6 school directors for allowing students to gather in groups without masks. It came shortly after Facebook users sent photos of violations to Pashinyan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189423

Masks rules get stricter

The govt made it mandatory to wear a mask before leaving the home. Until now it wasn't required while walking on the street.

A curfew and a return to lockdown are "on the table".

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189413

Saryan St. businesses shut down

Inspectors shut down Panda-Hookah on Saryan St. for giving customers hookah (nargile) against the safety orders. Several other obyekts were closed.

https://youtu.be/ccwXy95mB6s

Human Rights Ombudsman joined the efforts

...to convince the public to take COVID more seriously. "It requires a joint effort. The best way to appreciate the doctors' work is not to post a 'thank you' video but to adjust our behavior and follow safety. The sooner we unite, the sooner we'll defeat it. Armenians have united against an enemy many times before."

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189381

COVID in Azeri army / Reports of govt hiding deaths

A report by an Azeri opposition news website says:

We're getting reports about numerous soldiers being secretly taken to hospital in Ahmedbeyli, Fizuli. Cellphones are taken from soldiers so they can't communicate. The hospital ran out of emergency beds, while medics lack PPE.

The military police guard the hospital area. Many parents cannot reach their sons; they don't know their whereabouts.

30 soldiers are confirmed dead. They were buried in aluminum coffins marked with digits, which means it's for a temporary funeral. [End.]

--

The website fears the Aliyev regime could mislead the public by claiming they were killed by Armenians.

As for the Armenian army, no deaths have been recorded. Dozens of soldiers, who serve in Yerevan barracks and were allowed to enter and leave due to the nature of their service, have been diagnosed. Some have healed. No widespread infections among conscripts.

https://factor.am/256125.html

https://freeazerbaijan.info/2020/06/03/неизвестна-судьба-погибших-от-корона/

Financial aid for being under quarantine

Parliament voted 98-1 to approve a draft version of QP bill to provide financial aid (size of average salary) to self-employed or contractors who had to stay isolated for 14 days.

20,000 people were isolated. Govt should examine the list and find those who were contractors or self-isolated, and pay them, say QP MPs.

The govt opposes the bill, saying the "20,000" number can change quickly, and parts of the bill will cause some problems for businesses.

Parliament will hold another hearing to amend the bill before the second vote.

https://factor.am/256132.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017323.html

courts are about to get tech-y

Parliament voted 113-0 to approve a QP bill to allow courts to question witnesses and victims remotely during felony investigations. The practice was earlier established for civil cases.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017222.html

protecting kids during trials

Parliament voted 113-0 to approve a QP bill to reduce the daily interrogation hours for <18yo from 6hr to 4hr.

People with some felony records cannot act as their representative.

Psychologists will be present during Q&A sessions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1017221.html

Parliament approved the police reform

...with a unanimous vote. The new road police will replace the existing two divisions. The police recruits will go through new training and requirements. New cars, tech, etc.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189352

Civil Aviation reform discussions

Pashinyan spoke with CA chief Revazyan about fixing the current issues about monitoring airline safety, and while at it, boosting the competitiveness of Armenian airlines.

CA has the list of problems. They'll create a plan to make reforms by 2022. The plan will be submitted in 2 weeks, before being discussed by govt.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189383

fuel prices drop YoY in May

May vs May YoY: petrol -31%

May vs April 2020: -10%.

http://arka.am/en/news/business/petrol_price_in_armenia_drops_by_17_percent_/

Referendum can be canceled

Parliament voted 82-17 to approve a QP bill to allow the Parliament to cancel referendums for safety reasons if the referendum is scheduled during pandemics.

This will give them the right to withdraw the upcoming Constitutional Court referendum, and possibly use a Parliamentary to solve the problem other ways. They're consulting with Venice Commission.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189352

Shareholder names to be available

Parliament voted 80-31 to approve a QP bill to authorize law enforcement to more easily obtain company shareholder info for investigations.

Until now, only limited info was made accessible. Govt believes it was done on purpose for political reasons.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281657/

http://arka.am/en/news/business/information_on_shares_and_shareholders_becomes_more_accessible_in_armenia_/

ex-Minister's brother charged with felony

HHK MP / Yerevan mayor / Transport Minister Gagik Beglaryan's brother Yuri is wanted by authorities for alleged abuse of power and illegal business dealings.

It's about 2001-2019 when he served as a director of the "Collective team sports center" govt-funded organization. He's accused of causing 85mln in damages and other abuse. Yuri is wanted.

https://m.shamshyan.com/hy/article/2020/06/03/1156368/

Kalashnikov factory will open in Armenia

...in July, said chief Igor Gardienko. Vladimir Putin signed the authorization in 2019.

They'll work with a local company to hire 20 Armenian (ex)soldiers and assemble dozens of thousands of AK103 rifles. Over time, the components will also be produced in Armenia. For now, they'll be imported from Russia.

The factory will later produce night vision tech and repair military vehicles. This will require new facilities, which are planned to be opened in Abovyan city.

https://infoport.am/am/news/defense/hulisi-skzbin-hayastanum-kbacvi-kalashnikov-inqnadzigner-artadrogh-gortsarany-tesanyut

Oghakadzev Park is being liberated

Yerevan began removing illegal "obyekts" from the park. It'll be renovated and brought to a new shape with new green zones, lighting, furniture. A new skateboard park is being created nearby.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189410

update: Ayvazovsky's painting "Neapolitan Bay"

... is sold for $2.9mln during Sotheby's online auction. It's starting price was ~$1mln.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281667/


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gw18d1/jun32020_news_1_masks_required_everywhere_2/


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