Melee At Yerevan City Council: Ruling Party Members Physically Assault Female Councilmembers

Yerkir Tsirani member Manina Khachatryan is being attacked during a city council meeting (Azatutyun.am)

Mayor Taron Markaryan said: “We also condemn the use of force and here no one was subjected to the use by anyone else.

YEREVAN—What was supposed to be Yerevan City Council’s first session of the year Tuesday turned violent, when members of the Republican Party of Armenia physically attacked and assaulted female city council members from the opposition Yerkir Tsirani party, who had decided to bring putrid—and possibly toxic—sewer water from the Noubarashen neighborhood to demonstrate the unhealthy conditions the citizens of one of the poorest parts of Yerevan endure on a daily basis.

Members of the Yerkir Tsirani party donned medical gloves and masks and proceeded to present their fellow city council members with what they termed a “gift” from the residents of Noubarashen—jars of sewer water, which they claimed pollutes the air of the neighborhood. The demonstration was done to illustrate the air that the citizens of the area breath on a daily basis and the odors that they have to endure in their life. They wanted their fellow city councilmen to get a whiff of what their constituents were breathing.

Two members of Yerkir Tsirani, Sona Aghegyan and Marina Khachatryan, proceeded toward the chamber. Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan, seeing that they were approaching him, immediately instructed those on the floor to block the two women’s way.

Members of the Republican Party of Armenia and Artur Grigoryan, the city council communications director immediately blocked the two women’s way, after which members of the city council began pushing and shoving the women, screaming profanities and attempting to beat the women who were steadfast in their goal to deliver the message.

Things got more complicated when Khachatryan, one of the Yerkir Tsirani members at the center of the incident slapped a Republican Party of Armenia member who was violently pursuing her. He retaliated by slapping her in the face. She later told Azatutyun that the Republican Party member was attempting to pull at her clothes and was shoving her around.

Republican Party of Armenia members were trying to forcibly remove the women from the City Council Chambers. Members of the opposition “Yelk” party were attempting to quell the unrest and separate the factions that were pushing and shoving one another.

Republican Party of Armenia city council member and a former Karate champ, Gor Vardanyan, did not take part in the shoving match. Instead, he picked up Khachatryan and took her to the hallway. After the incident, Vardanyan told Azatutyun that he simply removed the city council member “who was displaying improper behavior.”

The police arrived on the scene and a recess was called. Members of the Yerkir Tsirani party were left outside and not allowed in the chambers. Police also were impeding the journalists at the scene.

The female members of the Republican Party of Armenia did not defend their female colleagues on the city council and rationalized the violence by saying “it was an attack on [mayor] Taron Margaryan.”

After the incident, Mayor Markaryan issued a statement saying, “We also condemn the use of force and here no one was subjected to the use by anyone else.”

The emergency dispatch also sent medical units to the scene. Yerkir Tsirani leader Zeruhi Postanjian told Azatutyun that two medical units were sent, one to address a heart complaint the other a psychiatric unit that was supposed to take the women to a psychiatric facility.

Postanjian invited the press to the party’s offices to demonstrate that allegedly while the melee was taking place, the party’s offices at the city council were broken into and the putrid-smelling sewer water was thrown at the furniture. She vowed to take pursue legal action.

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19 Comments

  1. Ani said:

    Disgusting and deplorable!!! All that physically attacked these women should be handcuffed and taken away.
    You would think that we’re watching turkish parliament.

    Shame on all of them!!!

  2. Lori said:

    Why was a psychiatric unit sent to take the women to a psychiatric facility? How about taking the “men” who raised their hands and fists on these women to a psychiatric facility or jail?

    • Ana said:

      Those men should be punished: all those women wanted is to show them, or make them smell the smell. Why couldn’t they say ok, let us sit down and think how can we fix it? what is the problem? And you know what? if carriers were men they wouldn’t get bitten up!
      This is the lever of government in Armenia! level or tugs and hooligans sitting in those high places and making their own packets bigger and bigger with bribes! Government that came to Armenia after independence, those who led this poor country all those years, did equal or worse than Turkish genocide, because they are distorting their own country to gain wealth. And all talented, clever, your or old people, they leave Armenia!

  3. Lena said:

    The sad thing is that I’m not as shocked as I should be at the men’s behavior. It’s just as sad that the people there will not be too shocked either. Is anyone surprised that the country is being depleted? One thing is for sure: there are still some strong women in Armenia who believe in right and wrong. May God help them.

  4. Mario Yazidjian said:

    Hello Amenian men in Armenia;
    Do you feel superior acting like that? you might have an inferior complex?
    Just think would you hit your mother? because this ladies could be mothers now or in the future
    WAKE UP

    • Raffi said:

      Had they have the capacity to think, they wouldn’t have behaved like humans, not like Hayastani ESH.

  5. Gerald Gardner, Memphis TN said:

    What else is new? Armenians are lions against each others, but pussy cats against the enemy. They gave a nice video clip to Turkey and Azerbaijan. Ladies: your actions were very dramatic, but sick and health risk for all present.

  6. Russ said:

    To deliver the message or deliver the sewage? What a publicity stunt. Shame on those women who threaten others with waste!

  7. ritooli said:

    When?When? When we will finally understand that the damage these illiterates inflict on our poor Armenia far exceeds anything we have seen from Azerbaijan and Turkey? If we don’t do something now there wont be any Armenia left in 20 years.

  8. Aram Stepanian said:

    Bunch of thieves raping the country who don’t want to hear the truth from a few brave women !!!!!!

  9. Vasken said:

    Should be sacked all men who raised their hands on this women, and bar them from any Public services in future NO MATER who they may be. I think They need Psychiatric help!

  10. Eliza said:

    This is not a “melee.” This is violence against women. Members of Armenian Republican Party committed physicaly assaulted council women. This is criminal. They are thugs and they should be in jail. This is shameful. What’s also shameful is the lack of outrage by Armenian media and calling this melee.

    Additionally, the Armenian community should take a hard look at itself and its treatment of women and how domestic violence is typically swept under the rug and viewed just as “tradition.” Enough is enough.

  11. Robert Davidian said:

    These were criminally barbaric mafia-like actions by the Republican mafia regime, including multiple instances of sexual assault. The reason Marina Khachatryan turned to slap the animal behind her was because he reached around and grabbed her breast! Additionally, the animal who threw her out of the chambers, did so by grabbing her from behind with his arms on her breasts! Diasporans who’ve seen that video evidence over and over are shocked – but maybe not fully. The three female faction members who were violently and sexually abused were subjected to this barbaric criminal treatment, why? To silence their demonstration of the desperate immediate need for the city to repair a broken sewer pipe poisoning a Yerevan community for YEARS. Of course, that pipe was fixed the very next day – as a direct result of the actions of these strong, brave women serving the citizens who elected them to do just that. The witnesses of this video evidence can only now fully understand the hurtles of criminal patriarchy that these concerned lawmakers have to get past to fight the systemic mafia-like corruption eating away at Armenia’s society. Of course the battle continued when these three lawmakers returned to their office to discover it had been infected with raw sewerage thrown about. These acts only make them stronger in their resolve to attain justice for the citizens who voted them into office to make changes. These three brave lawmakers are succeeding.

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