An Attack in Syunik Said to Have Targeted LGBT Activists

Robert is one of the people beaten in Shurnukh village in Syunik province
Robert is one of the people beaten in Shurnukh village in Syunik province

Robert is one of the people beaten in Shurnukh village in Syunik province

SHURNUKH, Armenia—Residents of this village in Armenia’s Syunik province were rocked Friday night when dozens of local residents attacked a group of LGBT activists who were reportedly gathered at a person’s house.

According to PINK Armenia, the LGBT advocacy organization, some from the group were injured with two of them being hospitalized for more severe injuries.

Elvira Meliksetian, a member of the group to Epress.am that she and others had arrived on Thursday to visit a friend, Hayk Hakopyan who lives in Shurnukh. She said that they were harassed upon their arrival when a couple of teenagers threw firecrackers at the house.

On Friday, what is being described as a mob, among them women and children, showed up outside of the house. When the group emerged from the house, they were reportedly beaten by the men, while the women and children allegedly threw stones and hurled slurs at them.

Hakopyan told PinkNews that it took the police a little more than an hour to arrive, despite them being called when the harassment had first begun. The local police said it has launched an investigation and several people involved in the attack were detained for questioning.

Hakppyan said he believed that the attack was not merely an anti-LGBT incident, but said he was targeted because he had submitted evidence against some in the village and in the region, in the authorities ongoing crackdown against corruption.

The United States embassy in Yerevan issued a statement condemning the attack and saying that “the state is responsible for all Armenians’ safety and security.”

The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States posted its condemnation of the violence on its Facebook page on Saturday.

“The Armenian Youth Federation condemns the attack on our marginalized communities in Shurnukh. We wholeheartedly believe in an Armenia where every Armenian is safe and protected under the rule of law. Discriminatory violence has no place in a free, fair, and democratic society. We call on local authorities in the region and government of Armenia to defend the rights of all of its citizens, no matter their background, political affiliations or orientation,” the AYF Western US said on Facebook.

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5 Comments

  1. Diane Kupelian said:

    I am heartsick that this kind of hateful violence has occurred in Armenia. I am appalled that women took part by throwing stones, and I am shocked and disgusted that children were led into taking part in such a horror. This has no place in a civilized Christian society. These hateful thugs should be ashamed.

  2. Raffi said:

    Why doesn’t U.S. Embassy condemn all hate crimes against Christians and Armenians in Turkey and Azerbaijan?

    • AD said:

      Because US Embassy would not care even if turks and azeris annihilate the entire Armenian nation. Armenian nation, not the territory of Armenia, isn’t wort a penny for the US… just a pawn to sacrifice in their syphilitic geo-political prostitutions. Sad, but true…

  3. Karen Khachatryan said:

    ԿՈՉ եմ անում Սերժին Թանկյան որ հայտարարությունների փոխարեն ԳՈՐԾ անի հանուն Հայաստանի, կրթական, երաժշտական 1000 ու մի ծրագիր կարա անի, թե չէ « անթույլատրելի է Շուռնուխի դեպքերը…» իսկ էլ ինչնա անթույլատրելի Պրն Թանգյան? 6֊ից հետո հաց ուտելը թույլատրելիա? կամ ծամոն ծամելը?

  4. Vardan said:

    Raffi, you sound like a deranged republican. Why are you deflecting? First off, I don’t think there are any armenians left in Azerbaijan. Secondly, the “US Embassy” is not a single entity. Did you mean the US State department? If you want to follow specific statements made by other embassies, perhaps you should follow the US embassies in Turkey and Azerbaijan, respectively. This is an outright hate crime and all perpetrators, incliding the lazy police in that town, should be prosecuted.

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