Sunday, 17 June 2018

Armenian News... A Topalian... 4.3 magnitude earthquake hits Armenia, Armenia
June 6 2018

YEREVAN. – An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.3 occurred Wednesday in Armenia’s Lori Province.

The earthquake was recorded 8 km south of the city of Spitak. The center of the earthquake lies at a depth of 10 kilometers.

Shocks of 5-6 magnitude were felt in the cities of Spitak and Vanadzor, 3-4 magnitude in Gyumri and three magnitude in Yerevan.

OC Media
June 4 2018
Protests hit Nagorno-Karabakh after security forces ‘beat up two’
(Artsakh Press)

Protests erupted in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert over the weekend after two men were allegedly beaten up by a group of members of the National Security Service. Pro­test­ers were initially demanding the alleged attackers be pros­e­cut­ed, but these demands have now extended to the dis­missals of the heads of all law enforce­ment and security agencies, excluding the Defence Army.

Pro­test­ers continued to block off the central Freedom Fighters Avenue on Monday, in a fourth day of protests, according to local news agency Artsakh Press. One of the protest leaders, Davit Simonyan, addressed the crowd to relay the results of their meeting with President Bako Sahakyan the previous day.

Simonyan said the president promised to make changes in security agencies, but that their demands were ‘not com­plete­ly accepted by the president’.
‘Bako Sahakyan promised to undertake sys­tem­at­ic improve­ments, which will be connected not with changes of officials but with changes in the general policy and daily work’, Artsakh Press quoted him as saying, adding that they must now decide to what extent they are satisfied with these con­di­tions.
President Bako Sahakyan meeting with demon­stra­tors (
The pro­test­ers have demanded the res­ig­na­tions of Chief Pros­e­cu­tor Artur Mosiyan, head of police Kamo Agha­janyan, and head of the State Security Service Arshavir Gharamyan.

Hayk Khanumyan, the leader and sole MP from the oppo­si­tion National Revival Party also addressed pro­test­ers, telling them their demands were ‘accept­able’

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Ombudsman Ruben Melikyan said he hoped the measures the gov­ern­ment had already taken would have quick results.
‘The gov­ern­ment responded by arresting the par­tic­i­pants of the incident and meeting the pro­test­ers to discuss their com­plaints. Many high-ranking officials, including the president, met the pro­test­ers. Also, a special com­mis­sion is to be estab­lished in the National Assembly [Nagorno-Karabakh’s par­lia­ment] to inves­ti­gate the wrongs of the past’, Melikyan told OC Media. 
The Ombudsman’s Office is charged with upholding human rights in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Author­i­ties also released a video on Sunday pur­port­ing to show the two men who were beaten up insti­gat­ing the fight. According to Melikyan, the recording ‘shows two citizens beating a ser­vice­man, after which some col­leagues of the ser­vice­man arrived and began to beat the two civilians’.
Melikyan added that while ‘some pro­test­ers claim that similar incidents have occurred in the past’ they could not confirm this as the Ombudsman’s Office ‘has not received any com­plaints about such issues.’

Four days of protests
Protests began on Friday evening after a group of around 15 members of the security services allegedly beat up two civilians in what was report­ed­ly a personal dispute. Armenian media reported that police stood by at the scene as the attack took place, arresting the victims of the assault and not the attackers.

According to a statement released by police the following day, police responded at 19:25 to an incident that occurred 10 minutes earlier, and 15 people were arrested.

According to Civil Net, chants of ‘Nikol, Nikol’ could be heard on Friday evening, referring to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who was swept to power on the back of mass protests a month ago.

After hundreds gathered on Saturday, State Minister Arayik Haru­tyun­yan addressed the crowd promising the author­i­ties would take action.

‘There is a strict order from the President to all of the members of the gov­ern­ment, to all officials, to take into account all justified griev­ances and demands, and to respond to them. In addition, a working group has been created in the National Assembly, because this shouldn’t just be the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the Executive Branch, which will address past and present griev­ances and demands and mistakes’, CivilNet quoted him as saying.

On Sunday, Stepanakert’s central avenue was again blocked by pro­test­ers, with quoting Vladimir Dolukhanyan, a member of the board of the National Revival Party, as saying that around 500 demon­stra­tors had assembled.

According to Hetq, some pro­test­ers had begun to widen their demands, including the release of political prisoners in Armenia and calls to unite with Armenia.

A pro-gov­ern­ment counter-rally was also held in Stepanakert on Sunday, organised by the Karabakh veterans’ asso­ci­a­tion, according to EurasiaNeteditor Joshua Kucera.

Respond­ing to the protests, the Defence Ministry released a statement on Sunday calling for calm. ‘Accepting the absolute supremacy of the con­sti­tu­tion­al rights of every citizen and con­sid­er­ing any form of violence unac­cept­able and deplorable, the Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] Republic Defence Ministry urges people to refrain from dangerous steps arti­fi­cial­ly aggra­vat­ing the internal political situation of our country under external threats and to consider solving the issue solely on a legal basis’, the statement said.

Accu­sa­tions of impunity from law enforce­ment emerged earlier in 2018 when in March, an Armenian citizen claimed police in Stepanakert ‘psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly abused’ her during multiple ‘illegal deten­tions’ in Stepanakert. She alleged her treatment was because as a woman she smoked and because of the way she looked.

In 2016, CivilNet reported that oppo­si­tion MP Hayk Khanumyan was beaten by men in military uniforms, allegedly for his criticism of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Army.

For ease of reading, we choose not to use qual­i­fiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecog­nised’, or ‘partially recog­nised’ when dis­cussing insti­tu­tions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

RFE/RL Report
Pashinian Urges End To Protests In Karabakh
June 04, 2018
Sisak Gabrielian

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Monday called for an end to 
anti-government protests in Nagorno-Karabakh sparked by a violent dispute 
between security officers and other local residents.

Pashinian made what he described as a “brotherly request” as about 200 people demonstrated in Stepanakert for a fourth day to demand the resignation of the heads of Nagorno-Karabakh’s two main law-enforcement agencies blamed for the violence.

The brawl broke outside a Stepanakert car wash on Friday, with two groups of 
men bitterly arguing and pushing and punching each other for still unclear 
reasons. Several of them turned out to be officers of Karabakh’s National 
Security Service (NSS). They reportedly seriously injured at least one of the 
other, civilian participants of the fight.

The incident triggered a demonstration by angry Stepanakert residents who say that it is symptomatic of what they see as impunity enjoyed by members of security forces and their relatives. They blocked the town’s main avenue, 
demanding the resignation of the NSS and police chiefs. The street section has 
since been the scene of daily anti-government rallies.

Karabakh law-enforcement authorities arrested several individuals, including 
two NSS officers, in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Karabakh’s 
political leadership pledged to ensure an objective criminal investigation.

These assurances failed to satisfy the protesters, however. Their 
representatives twice met with Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, over the weekend. Sahakian is said to have told them late on Sunday that he is ready, in principle, to sack senior law-enforcement officials but will refrain from doing that now.

“The people will not leave until their demands are met,” one of the protest 
leaders said after the demonstrators decided to keep the Stepanakert street 
closed to traffic on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Karabakh’s parliament set up a multi-party “investigative 
commission” at an emergency session held later in the day. The ad hoc 
commission is tasked with monitoring the probe of the brawl and other abuses allegedly committed by law-enforcement officials.

Pashinian appealed to the protesters late on Monday, saying that “any violence is unacceptable regardless of who resorts to it” and calling for “concrete conclusions” to be drawn from the June 1 incident. In a live Facebook broadcast, he praised Sahakian for meeting representatives of the protesters and reaching “concrete agreements” with them. He hinted that the Karabakh leader agreed to make personnel changes in the local security apparatus after the ongoing criminal inquiry is over.

The protests should therefore end, said the Armenian premier. “In a 
conversation with me, the president of Artsakh (Karabakh) reaffirmed his 
determination to implement those agreements and it is imperative to enable him to do that,” he added.

Pashinian’s appeal followed serious concerns voiced by some politicians and 
public figures in Armenia. They warned that a destabilization of the political 
situation in Karabakh could tempt Azerbaijan to attack Karabakh Armenian 
positions along “the line of contact” around the disputed territory.

“What happened in Armenia is inadmissible, to put it mildly, for Karabakh,” 
former President Levon Ter-Petrosian said in a weekend statement. “I mean mass protests and pressures on the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s authorities. They could have disastrous consequences for a country which is in a state of war.”

Ter-Petrosian alluded to the recent mass protests in Armenia that brought 
Pashinian to power. He said Pashinian must publicly call for an end to the 
Stepanakert protests.

The Karabakh leader’s spokesman, Davit Babayan, sought to allay such fears 
earlier on Monday. “The situation is not critical. This is a form of dialogue,” 
Babayan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (

Babayan also warned against attempts to “politicize” the June 1 incident and 
urged the protest leaders to drop their “ultimatums” issued to the authorities 
in Stepanakert., Armenia
June 4 2018
Catholicos Karekin II concerned over latest developments in Artsakh                
Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II is concerned about the events in Artsakh, he said in a statement.

“We are concerned about the latest development in Stepanakert, which threaten the internal stability of Artsakh. The aggravation of the domestic political situation in the country and uncompromising positions are unacceptable, since they jeopardize the security and peace of Artsakh,” the statement said.

“We call upon our beloved children in Artsakh to resolve all disagreements and problems in the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood and via dialogue, for the sake of stability and progress of Artsakh.”

As reported earlier, fifteen people were detained as the result of the clashes between citizens and employees of the National Security Service in Artsakh on June 1.

ArmenPress, Armenia
June 5 2018
Diaspora minister suspends predecessor's brainchild summer projects, including Ari Tun

The Ari Tun, My Armenia festival and Diaspora Summer School programs are suspended. The projects will kick off later than the scheduled date, and will be revised and enriched, in terms of context, minister of Diaspora Mkhitar Hayrapetyan told a press briefing.

The three programs were introduced during former minister Hranush Hakobyan’s tenure.

He said that the programs are already proceeding and the budgets of the three projects have been approved.

“And we had to either cancel them or postpone. We reached the best solution, we temporarily postponed the projects. They will be realized, but not from June 17. We will prepare for them properly”, he said.

The minister said that the tenders have already been held and everything is approved, but certain services have rather high prices.

“It is a principle for us, that corruption risks must be ruled out,” he said.
The Diaspora Summer School is a summer school for Diaspora-Armenians to visit Armenian in the summer and participate in different training courses, such as Armenian language training, training for teachers etc. Both students and teachers are taking part in the program.

My Armenia Festival is an annual cultural event bringing together artists from the Diaspora.

Ari Tun – translated from Armenian as Come Home, the program aims at the preservation of Armenian identity among Diaspora-Armenians through visits and different programs during summer in Armenia.

ENGLISH: Editor/Translator -Stepan Kocharyan

PanArmenia, Armenia
June 5 2018
British shearers will participate in Armenia sheep shearing festival 

Sheep shearers from Great Britain and Georgia will participate in the annual sheep-shearing festival in Armenia, which this year will be held on June 9.

The festival will gather experienced shearers from Armenia and abroad in Khot settlement if Syunik province, who will offer a masterclass for other participants and the guest of the event.

A sheep shearing competition will be held among the region’s best shearers, as well as other contests and games, the organizers said in a Facebook event ad.

A food court, an open-air cafe and a kids’ playground will be set up for those participating in the festival, as well as .

More details concerning the communities taking part in the initiative will be available shortly.

PanArmenian, Armenia
June 6 2018
10 UK companies exploring investment opportunities in Armenia 

10 UK Business companies, led by the UK Prime Minister’s Trade and Investment Envoy (TIE) to Armenia and Georgia, Mark Pritchard MP, arrived in Armenia on Wednesday, June 6 to identify bilateral trade and investment opportunities in renewable energy, infrastructure and urban modernization sectors, the British Embassy said in a Facebook post.

The two-day intensive programme includes meetings with high-level Armenian state authorities and business representatives, followed by a large UK-Armenia business forum and one-to-one meetings between British and Armenian entrepreneurs.

Ahead of the business delegation’s visit, Pritchard said the visit offers a unique opportunity to develop business relationships with a wide range of UK companies, representing excellence from a variety of sectors.

"Given the amount of expertise that exists on both sides, bringing together specialists from the UK and Armenia is a genuinely exciting prospect. I am thoroughly looking forward to playing a part in the event," the Envoy said.

This is the fourth visit of Pritchard to Armenia since his appointment as British Trade and Investment Envoy to Armenia and Georgia by the UK Prime Minister Theresa May in September 2017. During his previous visits, Pritchard discussed with Armenian state officials and business representatives opportunities to increase the volume of trade and investment between the UK and Armenia.

Falmouth Packet, UK
June 4, 2018 Monday
Artist Francis Alys to visit Cornwall for first time
A film by international artist Francis Alys will be shown in Helston from this Friday
Internationally renowned artist Francis Alÿs will visit Cornwall for the first time at the end of this week for the opening of an exhibition of his film in Helston.
The Silence of Ani (2015) will be shown in a specially designed projection space created in the CAST building at 3 Penrose Road.
Opening on Friday, the exhibition is part of Groundwork, the project developed by the Helston-based arts organisation CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust) bringing internationally celebrated art and artists to Cornwall this summer. The Alÿs installation follows an exhibition by Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.
This will be the first UK presentation of Francis Alÿs' film The Silence of Ani (2015), which was commissioned for the Istanbul Biennial. It was shot on location around the ruined ancient Armenian city of Ani, near the border with Turkey.
Known as the "city of 1,001 churches," Ani was once a rich metropolis, but the city had fallen into steep decline during the 13th century and by the 17th century was completely abandoned. The Silence of Ani captures the quiet of a ruined city, broken only by birdsong.
The film speaks of the residue of trauma in a region remembering the genocide that took place a century ago, where an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire.
Francis Alÿs, whose work has been exhibited in the world's leading art museums including Tate Modern and MoMA, New York, originally trained as an architect in Belgium, where he was born. He became an artist after moving to Mexico City in the mid-1980s, at a time of political unrest.
His projects include public actions, installations, video, paintings and drawings.
Following his visit to Cornwall, Francis Alÿs will travel to Liverpool, where his work will headline in the Liverpool Biennial, and to the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, where his one person exhibition Knots'n Dust opens on June 20. The exhibition at CAST continues until Sunday, July 8 and is free to visit, open six days a week, Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

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