2021 February 27

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Daily news wrap-up

Feb/27/2021 news wrap-up: () President Sarkissian and Prime Minister Pashinyan battle over firing GCoS. What does the Constitution say? Who are possible GCoS replacements? Defense Ministry releases statement. (2) Sumgayit massacres. Artsakh releases statement. (3) Foreign Ministry responds to Aliyev
by ar_david_hh


Your 8-minute Saturday report in 2014 words.

president Sarkissian continues political meetings

Read yesterday's news for context. Sarkissian has to decide whether to sign Pashinyan's motion to fire GCoS Onik Gasparyan. He held discussions with several parties yesterday. The meetings continued today. Sarkissian spoke with more non-parliamentary politicians.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044714.html

former regime activist Narek Malyan is charged with inciting violence

Yesterday, an opposition activist and VETO group co-founder Narek Malyan organized a performance of a mock execution in front of the Parliament building, while the crowd chanted "Nikol traitor." The act was condemned by Human Rights Ombudsman and culture figures for "inciting violence."

Today, the organizer Malyan informed his followers that he has been charged with felony 226.2.1. The investigators believe, based on yesterday's events, that Malyan's "death to traitors" was directly aimed towards the Prime Minister, and constitutes an incitement.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044707.html

pro-govt rally: Pashinyan gives a shout-out to supporters waving from balconies

The biggest impression of yesterday's march was the energy coming from the balconies, said Pashinyan while sharing the video:

https://www.facebook.com/nikol.pashinyan/videos/912817022859627/

https://factor.am/342736.html

opposition rally

Team-Manukyan installed several tents in front of the Parliament building. The protest resumed around the afternoon with "patriotic songs". They continue to demand PM's resignation.

Leader Vazgen Manukyan believes the president won't sign the order to fire GCoS Onik. "If he signs it, in any case, the army should not follow Prime Minister's order of firing GCoS Onik Gasparyan."

https://youtu.be/CKrs9gH0_oA , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044715.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044717.html

president Sarkissian did not sign the motion to fire GCoS / Pashinyan will send it back again

The president had objections to the document and returned it to Prime Minister. He found the document "unconstitutional" but did not clarify how the firing would violate the Constitution.

The president's also added that the military should remain neutral when it comes to politics.

President believes frequent changes in staff is not a good thing under today's circumstances.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044730.html

Vazgen Manukyan welcomed the president's decision. He called for other law enforcement agencies to join the GCoS "or else you are against the army."

Now the army has to wait for our move, the time has come for us to make a move, said Manukyan to followers. "What we began is approaching its end. We will all participate in the ending."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044737.html , https://youtu.be/4e_OWJ67xiI

PM's chief of staff responds: we consider President's objections to be unfounded. We will present our objections. Note that Constitution's 14.2 states that the armed forces must preserve neutrality in political issues and are under civilian oversight.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044735.html

Pashinyan: the President's decision does not in any way contribute to the resolution of the situation. In the manner prescribed by law, I will send the motion back to President.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044733.html

what does the Constitution say about the army's involvement in politics?

Opposition figures believe that the GCoS letter about Premier's resignation alone is not a violation of any law because it's a "personal opinion", as long as no action is taken and the Premier isn't arrested (coup).

On the other side, the Premier's chief of staff mentioned today that the Constitution's 14.2 requires the army to be politically neutral and remain under civilian oversight. There is an argument that the GCoS letter itself is a violation of political neutrality.

Lawyer Gevorg Gyozalyan: there should be a detailed investigation, but it does appear that it violates part 2 of article 14 of the Constitution, about political neutrality. If this is proven with facts, there should be a felony investigation [against GCoS]. The punishment could range from a warning to felony charges. //

Former Human Rights Ombudsman Andreasyan also believes the message was political in nature and violates the neutrality clause.

When Pashinyan sends the motion back to Sarkissian, the latter will have the right to send it to Constitutional Court, which would likely take a very long time.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207700 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207655

Defense Ministry demands military members to preserve political neutrality

In response to the letter published by the General Chief of Staff of Armed Forces, the Defense Ministry administration "demands members of the military to refrain from making statements on behalf of armed forces, not to involve the army into political processes, and not to prioritize personal political ambitions at the expense of country's security."

The Defense Ministry says the armed forces continue to do their duties of protecting the borders. "The Defense Ministry and armed forces are apolitical, and will continue with the steps to reform the army," says the Defense Ministry note.

https://factor.am/342882.html

in the event GCoS Onik is fired, who could replace him?

The outlet has information that the government would appoint either Jalal Harutyunyan or Andranik Makaryan.

Jalal Harutyunyan was the Artsakh army commander who was wounded during the war. After the recovery, he was appointed as the head of military control service in Armenia.

Andranik Makaryan is a deputy GCoS and one of the generals who did not sign the GCoS's letter.

https://factor.am/342824.html

33rd anniversary of Sumgayit massacres

Hundreds of ethnic Armenians were targeted and killed in Azerbaijani city Sumgayit in 1988.

This morning, Pashinyan and other officials visited the Tsitsernakaberd genocide memorial to pay respects.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044685.html

Artsakh parties: the Sumgayit events fall under the UN definition of genocide

Political parties of Artsakh: The Sumgait massacre was a state-planned operation by the Soviet Azerbaijani authorities and their sponsoring forces, whose target were ethnic Armenians who had built the city. All this was accompanied by unspeakable cruelty and violence, looting and robbery.

The violence on the grounds of national-religious intolerance did not receive an adequate response from the political leadership of the Soviet Union and the relevant international organizations, which led to new massacres and forced deportations in Baku, Gandzak, and Kur regions. About half a million Armenians were deported from Azerbaijan, and the native Armenians of Northern Artsakh were deprived of their homeland.

The genocide was a response to the Artsakh population's struggle for its independence. The peaceful population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic was also the target of large-scale aggression by Azerbaijan. It was more inhumane during the new war unleashed by Azerbaijan in the fall of 2020.

The events in Sumgayit fall under the UN's 1948 convention about crimes against humanity and genocide.

We call upon the international community, countries, and organizations respecting fundamental human rights and freedoms, to recognize and condemn the Sumgait genocide.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044696.html

Foreign Minister Ayvazyan's interview to Russian RIA Novosti:

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict is still unresolved. Only negotiations can lead to a solution, which will take into account everyone's rights, and will establish peace and stability in the Southern Caucasus.

The essence of the Karabakh conflict is the issue of self-determination of the Artsakh population. This right cannot be suppressed or frozen with the use of force. Armenia will continue to hold that stance.

Under no circumstances nor shape or form can Artsakh fall under Azerbaijani jurisdiction. The latest conflict has once again proven that Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan would mean Artsakh without Armenians.

[talks about massacres of ethnic Armenians in the 80s and 90s, and similarities with Hadrut events last year, during which civilians were intentionally killed.]

OCSE Minks Group is the only international body with a mandate to find a final resolution to this conflict. We agree with Co-chairs that the conflict has not been resolved yet. We support the resumption of negotiations. There should be an atmosphere to allow this to happen. The other side should be ready to come to an agreement.

about POWs

We support the return of POWs and captives based on the all-for-all principle but Azerbaijan hinders this process. They act against the international humanitarian norms and against the November trilateral statement. We appreciate Russia's impartial role in returning POWs. With the joint efforts, it was possible to return some of the POWs.

about jihadists recruited by Azerbaijan and Turkey

Turkey cannot be part of negotiations; only OCSE Minsk Group should be tasked with it. Turkey plays a negative role in the region. The foreign mercenaries they hired for Azerbaijan must withdraw from the region fully and immediately.

Azeri authorities' decision to turn Azerbaijan into a hotbed of terrorism and Turkey's satellite is a serious threat to international security. The presence of foreign militants on the Azeri side has been confirmed by various states and prominent international organizations. They clearly emphasized Turkey's role in transporting these militants to Azerbaijan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044704.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044705.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044706.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044709.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044711.html ,

Artsakh president's chief of staff Beglaryan about POWs:

Aliyev is lying about Azerbaijan only holding captive soldiers who were captured near Khtsaberd after the November trilateral statement. They still hold many pre-November 9th captives, including civilian women and the elderly. As for the 62 people who were captured near Khtsaberd later, they were not taking an active part in military actions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044722.html

Armenian Foreign Ministry to Azerbaijan:

Aliyev's recent statement that "Armenian people are not our enemies" are just words, not backed up by their other hostile rhetoric. The president of Azerbaijan continues the armenophobic policy.

The use of force with the help of Turkey cannot be considered a solution to the conflict. To establish peace in the region, the consequences of military aggression must be eliminated, and Artsakh Armenians' rights must be respected, including based on the Minsk Group's offer regarding self-determination.

Aliyev's hostile rhetoric once again proves the need for Armenia to rearm and modernize its army. The Azeri leadership's statements once again prove that Azerbaijan is not yet ready to take steps towards establishing peace.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044727.html

video: mortars and munition made in Armenia

A day after sharing a video featuring a new Armenian loitering drone, today the High Tech Ministry presented the 82mm mortars and munition made in Armenia.

They can be used against enemy personnel or equipment in trenches or mountain valleys within the range of 3km.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/Hti.Armenia/posts/3614570942001870

https://factor.am/342848.html

Defense Minister of Armenia and Russia held a phone conversation

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044712.html

United Nations is ready to install a humanitarian mission in Artsakh

... as soon as it becomes possible. They have informed all parties. Various UN agencies are holding discussions over the deployment schedule.

https://factor.am/342879.html

stats: the law that targets crime boss thieve-in-laws (vor v zakone)

Last year the Parliament passed a "RICO" style law to arrest criminal underground members for being members of criminal groups.

16 felony cases have been launched so far. 3 of the felony cases, which affect 20 defendants, are already in court.

4 of these defendants have the highest "ոռ" rank in the criminal underground.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044702.html

anti-corruption: cops bust fellow cops with bribery / bribe-givers also charged

Police: two police inspectors abused their powers and took bribes in exchange for not towing a vehicle, and not sanctioning a driver without a license.

The case was sent to Investigative Committee, which charged the officers with 3 felony counts. The bribe-giver citizens have also been charged with aiding the crime.

cringy or not? you decide

Did you know that mountains are people? Education Ministry has a new video to inspire the youth to love Armenian nature and culture.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=440241600586729

COVID stats

3977 tested. 283 infected. 144 healed. 7 deaths. 4481 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044682.html

Healthcare Ministry issues a warning: the numbers are rising again

The number of free beds is on the decline again. The number of patients requiring stationary beds has increased by 7% today.

It became necessary to reopen some temporary medical facilities for COVID. 30 facilities had earlier closed, leaving only 2 open.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/207747

boxers win medals and fight for more

International boxing tournament in Bulgaria. 91KG Narek Manasyan will fight for gold against Bulgaria's Radoslav. Earlier he defeated Georgia's Artyom Vardanyan.

Another Armenian boxer, Benik Nikoghosyan, has won a bronze medal. Two other players will fight in the semi-final soon.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044678.html

today in history

1917: second Russian revolution

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1044665.html

donations to Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)

www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)

www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older news

http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" or "appear" guilty.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ltv1ki/feb272021_news_wrapup_president_sarkissian_and/

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