Policemen trying to stop protesters at an opposition rally in Yerevan, March 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Artem Mikryukov

13 October 2021, 08:34

Armenian Constitutional Court equips authorities with new tool to persecute opposition

THIS MESSAGE (MATERIAL) HAS BEEN CREATED AND (OR) DISTRIBUTED BY A FOREIGN MASS MEDIUM PERFORMING FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT, AND (OR) BY A RUSSIAN LEGAL ENTITY PERFORMING FUNCTIONS OF A FOREIGN AGENT.

Armenia has approved a law on a threefold increase in compensation for insult and defamation. This decision of the Constitutional Court has demonstrated its dependence on the authorities; the amendments will act against political opponents of the ruling power, the analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

On October 5, the Constitutional Court recognized the constitutional amendments, according to which the maximum threshold for insult and defamation was increased threefold – from one up to three and from two to six million drams, respectively.

The decision of the Constitutional Court to recognize a threefold increase in compensation for insult and defamation is evidence of its dependence on the ruling party, Armen Badalyan, a political strategist, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to his story, the last year's process of replacing the constitutional judges pursued precisely this goal – to subordinate the Constitutional Court to the ruling power.

A sole rule model has been established in Armenia, Mr Badalyan believes. According to his version, the judicial system, government, parliament and local governments – all these institutions are subject to the will of the Prime Minister. Such a ruling model will inevitably lead to the destruction of all institutions of power, Armen Badalyan has concluded.

Analytical materials can be perceived as an insult and slander, Naira Airumyan, a political observer and the editor-in-chief of the Russian version of the "Lragir.am", has suggested.

"If the word 'surrender' (capitulator) is perceived as an insult in the parliament, then, theoretically, an article in which it will be noted that the authorities surrendered [in the autumn war] can be regarded as an insult. I think that the above amendments were adopted against political opponents," Ms Airumyan told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 12, 2021 at 09:53 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Tigran Petrosyan; Source: CK correspondent

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