SOLDIERS IN DANGER: Every year Armenian
officers kill about 100 soldiers with majority
of them having high education in the army, human
rights agent Ruben Martirosyan, the former chief
of Armenian Defense Ministry's emergency department,
announced December 19 in Azdak discussion club.
Azg daily quoted Martirosyan as saying that the
trials of 18 murders were closed in 2001, because
Prosecutor's Office's investigators forced witnesses
to give false evidence and fabricated lawyers'
SURVEY ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: An annual
U.S. government survey of religious freedom around
the world has found no marked changes in the situation
in Armenia over the past year, saying that its
authorities maintain "some restrictions"
on non-traditional faiths, RFE/RL reported December
The report released by the U.S. State Department
singled out the Armenian government's refusal
to legalize the Jehovah's Witnesses and continuing
imprisonment of its male members refusing compulsory
military service. There are an estimated 7,500
Jehovah's Witnesses in Armenia, most of them are
middle-aged and elderly women.
OLIMPIC PREZ: Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan is conferred the highest award of the
International Olympic Committee organization --
the Honorary Order for considerable contribution
to the international Olympic movement, PanARMENIAN.Net
reported December 20.
Deputy Chairman of the International Olympic
Committee Vitaly Smirnov handed the award to the
president said the committee appreciates the personal
attitude and important contribution of Robert
Kocharyan in advancing mass sport in Armenia.
NUCLEAR ISSUES: The European Union will
provide 4 million euros assistance to Armenia
for upgrading the operational safety of the Metsamor
nuclear power station, Armenpress reported December
The U.S. government has already made available
around $35 million on boosting Metsamor's safety
standards since its reactivation in 1995 and the
overall amount of EU aid to the plant has since
surpassed $20 million.
NEW TRIAL: The Prosecutor General's office
has finished the investigation of the assassination
attempt against Armenian Defense Minister Serzh
Sargsyan, Yerkir reported December 23.
The prosecutors have charged Levon Abrahamyan
with the assassination attempt, who, according
to prosecutors, attempted to kill Sargsyan in
July. The trial began this week.
OLD ISSUE, NEW COMMITTEE: The Diocese of the
Armenian Church in Germany and the German-Armenian
Council has called upon all the Armenian organizations
and Armenian communities to cooperate with the
newly-formed committee called "April 24",
Yerkir reported December 23.
The main goal of the committee will be to gain
recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
CHILD ADOPTION: The Armenian government
announced a major toughening of its procedures
for the adoption of Armenian children by foreign
nationals, RFE/RL reported December 23.
Senior officials dealing with the issue admitted
that the existing rules leave the process open
to government abuse and corruption, adding they
are aimed at placing more Armenian orphans in
local families. According to official figures,
76 children were adopted by foreigners, most of
them U.S. citizens in the first eleven months
of this year, up from 43 such cases registered
AZERIS PROTEST: Azerbaijan Parliament Milli
Mejlis adopted December 24 a statement expressing
a strong protest at recognition of Armenian genocide
in 1915 by Swiss parliament earlier this month,
Arminfo reported citing Azeri Turan agency.
Milli Mejlis statement reads that "myth"
about Armenian genocide is inconsistent and historical
facts have been distorted. It claimed that the
Swiss parliament's decision is "interference
into internal affairs of another state".
PEACE PROCESS: A referendum on the proposals
over settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict
can be held only after talks are completed, Armenian
President Robert Kocharyan said in an interview
with "Golos Armenii" newspaper.
He reminded that technology of settlement of
such complex issues provide for confidentiality
of the negotiation process. In his words, all
conflicts, solved more or less successfully, have
passed through confidentiality of the settlement
process for the solution not to be sacrificed
to current political processes.
CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON: The Armenian
International Team of Economic Studies plans to
hold the second international conference on "Armenia:
Problems of Sustainable Development and Economic
Growth" at the headquarters of the World
Bank in Washington (U.S.), on January 17-18, Arka
reported December 25.
The conference will give a chance to Armenian
and foreign theorists and experts to hold meetings
and discussions on social and economic development
of Armenia. The major topics to be discussed at
the conference are the problems of international
trade, capital market, financial and tax policy,
State administration, as well as Armenia-Diaspora