Victim of Yerevan Restaurant Beating Dies

35-year-old Vahe Avetian was beaten hardest

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—One of the three men who were badly beaten up this month at a Yerevan restaurant belonging to a powerful government-linked businessman died in hospital on Friday.

Vahe Avetian, 35, and two other military doctors were hospitalized after being assaulted by restaurant staff in still unclear circumstances on June 17.

Avetian was hit hardest in the incident, suffering severe head injuries. He remained in critical condition despite undergoing two surgeries at a military hospital in the Armenian capital where he worked.

Seven men, most of them security guards, were arrested in an ensuing police investigation into the violence. One of them was then freed pending investigation, while the others were remanded in pre-trial custody on assault charges.

The incident has cast a renewed media spotlight on the notoriously violent conduct of burly men working for wealthy businessmen close to the Armenian government, including Ruben Hayrapetian, the owner of the restaurant in question. Media commentators have attributed the severity of the assault to what they see as impunity enjoyed by those men and their powerful employers.

Hayrapetian, who is also a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, strongly condemned the incident but denied any responsibility for it last week. He pledged to assist in the ongoing criminal investigation.

The Armenian Defense Ministry also condemned the violence and expressed solidarity with its victims and their relatives. Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian visited Avetian and the two other hospitalized doctors last week.

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17 Comments

  1. HArutuyn said:

    ARA DUK MARTHEK AY B..I TXERK VONSEK MER ZINVORNERIN SPANUM ARA YES ZER AMEN INCHE BRTEM AY A…….EK CHEK AMANCHUM DUK ARA, AND THESE ARE THE BODYGUARDS OF THE SO CALLED NEMES RUBO YES NOW LET HIM ANSWER TO THIS WHY WOULD 2 MILITARY DOCTORS GET BEATEN UP AND I KNOW FOR SURE THESE POOR GUYS WERE THERE TO HAVE LUNCH OR DINNER AND THEN GO ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS, AND I KNOW THESE DOCTORS ARE LIFE SAFERS OF OUR TROOPS AND NOW THIS AY PIDARAS B…I TXERK YOU PEOPLE SHOULD GET HANGED FOR DOING THIS.

  2. Hratch said:

    This happens all the time in Armenia. The fact that the restaurant was owned by a powerful government-linked businessman does not make it any more urgent to report on. The mafia-like mentality must be abolished, otherwise these types of incidences will will continue and organized crime will erode all institutions.

  3. Zareh said:

    shame on these hooligans. The perpetrators should be arrested, indicted, tried and sentences with the harshest punishment according to the laws of the State.
    Armenia does not need this kind of negative exposure if it wants to attract tourists and investments from abroad.
    As long as these oligarchs continue their clandestine activities with impunity I don’t see much improvement in the lives of the ordinary Armenian citizens. No wonder why thousands of Armenians are leaving their homeland. I felt ashamed to be Armenian.
    This is no different from the Armenian gangsters in Los Angeles.
    This culture of mafia mentality ought to change and the time is now.
    Armenians had an excellent reputation of hard work, honesty and integrity all over the world but unfortunately incidents like this are eroding that reputation. Eventually ALL Armenians will pay the price of this kind of senseless behavior in the homeland and in the diaspora.
    The Medicare fraud and credit card fraud perpetrated by a handful of Armenians has given ALL Armenians a bad name.
    Please let us go back to our core values that shed a bright light on our communities all over the world.

  4. ani said:

    It is very sad to loose a young and educated man who is a member of our army. Shame on Hayrapetian and his guards who don’t have any respect to our fellow Armenians. This is not the first incident and this man who is in our parliament needs to be taken from his seat.His place is not there, he needs to be in jail. We need to show our reaction and show them that, this kind of incidents are intolerable.

  5. George said:

    One of the Armenian’s main problem is, how to civilize these people, a nation that has been under Soviet rule for over 70 years

  6. bigmoustache said:

    disgusting, who are these politian bodyguards who act with impunity?

  7. Vartan said:

    So just like that, they think they can rough up anyone and even engage in indiscriminately killing people. So that idiot bodyguard offers nothing to this world when compared to the Chief Doctor he killed. No more of this BS, that’s it. They better punish the correct person for this incident, this isn’t a joke anymore. We can’t let this greedy oligarch puppies take us to our final extinction.

  8. Arman said:

    The best way to increase pressure on Armenia’s corrupt government officials is to flatly refuse to send one penny from overseas to there. The corrupt politicians and the bussiness men with whom they are linked must know of Diaspora’s ZERO TOLERANCE to such disgusting events. THE SAD THING IS THERE ARE MANY MORE POLITICALLY AND FINANCIALLY MOTIVATED CRIMES IN ARMENIA THAT WE NEVER HEAR ABOUT. JUST LOOK AT THE RECENT SUICIDE INCIDENTS.

  9. Anonymous said:

    So the oligarchs think they’re personal freedoms and luxuries will thrive at the expense of the Armenian peoples state. They think all the things we’ve sacrificed they won’t have to because were the “suckers” in the end. This will stop right here. They can not continue this way, they’re not more powerful than our collective.

  10. jack said:

    As armenian i’m so disgusted by this news ,if mr hayrabetyan has a little dignity he should resign from h’s post immediately

  11. Sevag said:

    Everyone is quick to criticize the ARF….its as if people are fine with the ARF, but have that trigger finger once something goes wrong to reprimand the organization (maybe because the ARF is involved within the diaspora and is a “household name” versus these other political parties involved in scandals), but how about we redirect efforts to ccriticize these mafiosos when we read something disgusting as this?

  12. Stepan said:

    And they want the diasporan’s to come back, to what ?, this sort of governance ?
    all because Hayrapetyan was criticised by the doctor for being corrupt. In Armenia punishment for murder is hanging, this should apply to Hayrapetian the fat scum bag. People like this who exist in Armenia will only be civilised when one of them is made an example. He should at least be jailed for having a hand in this. I would rather live abroad than be targeted by these kinds of bastards for having free speech.

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