Beating Up Women is a New Low for the Republican Party of Armenia

Yerkir Tsirani's Marina Khachatryan is being pulled and shoved during the Yerevan City Council meeting on Tuesday
Yerkir Tsirani's Marina Khachatryan is being pulled and shoved during the Yerevan City Council meeting on Tuesday

Yerkir Tsirani’s Marina Khachatryan is being pulled and shoved during the Yerevan City Council meeting on Tuesday

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Good luck upholding the provisions of the recently passed domestic violence law, the ink on which was barely dry when a group of ruling Republican Party of Armenia members serving in the Yerevan City Council thought it was okay to full on attack their female colleagues, pulling their hair and, in one instance, slapping their face.

This was the scene Tuesday at the Yerevan City Council’s inaugural session of 2018 when members of the Republican Party of Armenia did not think twice before physically and verbally abusing their colleagues, whose methods to shed light on the grave conditions in one of Yerevan’s neighborhoods can be characterized as unconventional. But, do unconventional methods warrant such savagery?

Whether one approves of the methods used by members of the opposition Yerkir Tsirani party or not, the use of force against any colleague, especially women, is reprehensible and must be condemned by all factions and people who claim to be serving the people of Armenia.

What Asbarez earlier termed as a “Melee at Yerevan City Hall” is emblematic of a larger issue that plagues the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and we have seen its manifestations at various junctures in recent years when the party and its leaders and members were being challenged for their authoritarian rule and reckless disregard toward the citizens of Armenia. It is always extreme and it is constantly violent.

The water-hosing of demonstrators during the “Electric Yerevan” movement; employing smoke bombs and pellet guns during the “Daredevils of Sasoun—Sasna Dzrer” fracas; and, the March 1 post-election killing of 10 citizens in Yerevan are just a few examples of the ruling party’s responses to dissent and disagreement.

But Tuesday’s events at City Hall have opened a new window into the impunity with which the Republican Party of Armenia operates. Even a female Republican Party of Armenia city councilmember, Naira Nahapetyan, justified the violence by saying that the two women were “attacking Taron Markarian,” as if he is a deity of some sort.

Watch the video below and you will see that there is no hesitation—no pause—as the women are trampled upon, physically attacked and cussed at.

That is why the main opponents of the domestic violence law were Republican Party of Armenia men, who claimed that such a law would violate a man’s ability to “uphold the traditional Armenian family.” After all, in 21st century Armenia, traditions that should have been expunged from our culture are alive and well and being displayed in none other than the Yerevan City Council. Yet, Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan, who struts around the city with his Republican Party of Armenia privilege (he is the son of late Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan) and was the poster child for his party’s youthful appeal during last April’s parliamentary elections campaign, not only did not restrain his fellow city councilman but also sat idly and watched as the two women were brutally accosted and physically removed from the City Council Chamber.

One Republican Party of Armenia member, former parliament member Arakel Movsesyan told reporters that it was lucky for one of the Yerkir Tsirani party members Marina Khachatryan that he was not there. ‘’I will not go into details of what I would do, but what the Republican Party of Armenia men have done, they have done well.’’ I guess Marina and her colleague, Sona Aghegyan were lucky to have escaped the incident with a few pulled hairs and a couple of slaps on their face.

Republican Party of Armenia members are all about “development.” Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan talks about “development” as the savior of Armenia. Mayor Margaryan welcomed the construction of a $22 million amusement park in the middle of Yerevan as a type of “development” that would make the city better and more advanced. Yet all of them lack the understanding that “development” is not synonymous with “enrichment.” In order for one to tout “development” one must understand the social and behavioral aspects that make one a fully-developed person, or, in this case, Armenia a fully-developed nation.

No amount of investment will develop Armenia as long as its leaders—or rulers in this case—continue to behave with disrespect toward others, namely the citizens of Armenia.

When the Yerevan City Council is deliberating the upcoming celebration of the city’s 2,800th anniversary, its members should look at the pillars on which the city was founded and reflect on the nadir they have ushered it to. Such a reflection can be deemed “development.”

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18 Comments

  1. ritooli said:

    Thanks for writing this. Few diaspora media outlets report this sort of things. One of the attackers was Gor Vardanyan a former martial arts champion who currently serves as Cultural Affairs assistant to the mayor!!
    And you forgot to mention that this ruling Republican party has been supported by their junior coalition partners ARF for many years. I know it is embarrassing for many diehard ARF members in diaspora but it is a fact.

  2. David Karamian said:

    Regretfully, I came to the conclusion after a couple of trips to Armenia that Armenian men of Armenia are some of the most backward and ignorant I’ve seen in the world. Third world mentality is deeply rooted there.

  3. Marine said:

    Nothing surprising here. This country will never seen growth or change because of filthy men like this. The women goes to show him the filth they are drinking in villages and the republican party of animals start groping and beating her are you kidding me? Try this is America I DARE YOU! It’s so embarssing for me as an Armenian to witness this and the “Actor” GOR you play the opposite part of what you are another filthy waste of life. This bothers me I decided last year I might go and live in Armenia and open my own business help my country grow. Now I realize that I’f they don’t erase the government and people in it like this then neither I nor my generation will ever think of going back to our mother land. It’s a shame it truly is when you have a voice in America but will get groped, raped, or something else in your own country.

  4. adffqf said:

    WITH ALL THE WORLD’S EYES ON US, HOPING TO BE RECOGNISED AND TREATED LIKE HUMANS, THIS IS WHAT YOU DO? SHAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOU ALL.
    IF NOT FOR THE ARMENIAN WOMEN YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN HERE , AND GOD KNOWS HOW I WISH YOU WEREN’T…..

  5. joe said:

    The Republican party = the party of thieves and traitors..They need to be rid and or jailed for their crimes. Stop the funding of these useless traitors. The diaspora needs to confront these people and call them for what they are..

  6. eva garibian said:

    shame on our country and its leaders. they just demonstrated that they haven’t advanced one bit. they do not respect women and they are savages to have the nerve to do this in a governmental environment, knowing they are being filmed. we were outraged when Garo Paylan was beat up in the Turkish Parliament and we though the Turks were barbarians, only to see that we can stoop lower and beat women. Shame on our country. it is my hope that these men will be punished and made an example of to stop this abuse and violence.
    a few months ago, the diaspora made such an effort to have Erdogan’s security team punished and tried due to violence. What does this say about hypocrisy. We work hard to bring about change and proper attention here in America, but our people dont seem to be interested in growth and betterment. i feel a great deal of disappointment.

  7. Johnny said:

    Am I the only one that watched this video? I cant believe these comments. Cheap shot by Asbarez to blame their opposing political party.

    These women came in and attacked this meeting and the people involved. Throwing whatever disgusting thing they brought at meeting members is a form of assault. The women’s actions were not acceptable. This would be straight to jail for these women in the united states for all those making comments.

  8. Sergik said:

    These three women are Armenian heroes, these women are worried and care about our people and brown nosers like Gor are thinking about impressing their corrupt bosses. These women show true Armenian heroism and they should be invited in diaspora and given a medal to appreciate their effort, bravo sisters.

  9. Sergik said:

    By the way any man touches Armenian woman should be deported to Turkey where he belongs since Turks are the ones that hurt Armenian women and don’t forget that because of our women we survived the Genocide.

  10. Ղազար said:

    You, yes you; ARF, from top to bottom are complicit and equally responsible for this barbarism.

  11. Mare bedtime said:

    Is it men or is it republicans that feel they can keep pushing us around?

  12. Raffi said:

    These ANIMALS should resign, these f…kn bastards should realize that these women could have been their sisters and mothers.

  13. Alex said:

    1. Walking towards a government official wearing gloves with a cup of mysterious substance and threatening
    to splash the unknown substance on to the official is a very serious crime and provocation. In the US she
    would be charged with many serious crimes and would spend many years in prison.
    2. I noticed her slapping a person first(1:30) and getting smacked back. That is called self-defense. This type
    of behavior would not be tolerated anywhere no matter what she is protesting. Ridiculous that the people that leave comments are biased in their opinion because they don’t like the authorities so they overlook those critical facts.
    Try to judge everything impartially.

    • Sergik said:

      Please don’t forget to mention the word “corrupt” when mentioning authorities. I think you meant corrupt authorities.

  14. herayerr said:

    keep you hands of our brave women you idiots fix the nations problems and filthy neighborhoods

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