Zaruhi’s Husband Receives 10-Year Sentence

Zaruhi Petrosyan

YEREVAN (Armenian Weekly)—Yanis Sarkisov, accused of beating to death his 20-year-old wife Zaruhi Petrosyan, received a ten-year prison term on Oct. 14.

Sarkisov received the maximum penalty under the Armenian penal code’s Article 112 (“Intentional serious or heavy damage to health”).

On Oct. 1, 2010, Petrosyan, mother of an infant girl named Lilia, was killed after having sustained days of physical abuse at the hands of her husband and mother-in-law, according to her sister Hasmig.

Sarkisov, who was arrested soon after the incident, denied having committed any crime. “I am not guilty,” he said in his initial statement. “She fell and died.”

According to Hasmig, by the time Zaruhi died, she had been subjected to days of beatings. She suffered broken knees, and a crushed skull. Her sister believes her fingers were broken because she had tried to dial for help. Neighbors stated that Sarkisov threw Zaruhi’s body down a flight of stairs so that he could attribute her injuries to her fall.

Initial statements made by friends and family alleged Sakisov’s mother Lilia Sarkisova also beat Zaruhi. However, she faced no charges. Subsequently, Zaruhi’s daughter was placed under Sarkisova’s custody. Some activists have protested against the placement of the child with Sarkisova. They have written letters to authorities, and even appealed with the Child Protection Agency.

Zaruhi Petrosyan’s death shed light on the problem of domestic violence in Armenia. Soon after the Coalition to Stop Violence against Women in Armenia was formed, an umbrella for seven organizations, and gave rise to calls for the adoption of domestic violence laws by authorities.


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  1. Alla said:

    10 years? They are kidding… and they call this justice? Jail the abuser for life and the mother for 10 years, at least. And they are giving the infant child to be abused as well? Are there any women among the “law makers” in Armenian?

  2. elena said:

    Only 10 years sentence for intentional murdering. Armenia needs a serious socio-government change.

  3. sam said:

    10 years wow what a joke he should get at least life with no parole and his mother should be punished by getting beaten by group of women once a day for 10 yewrs

  4. bigmoustache said:

    this is shameful beyond words! thank you asbarez for bringing this to our attention. this is the lowest thing, they should be re-tried in court, both of them! and they gave the child to those demons?!
    set up a fund to raise money for Zaruhi Petrosyans family, legal defence, etc

  5. Cristina said:

    what is the use for their protests or for this coalition? If a bastard (because in no way i can call such a person a man) can kill his wife and get away with it and receive only 10 years for it, then it is all hopeless…
    Armenian men need to realise that we, Armenian women, too are human and need to treat us as such. I cannot even imagine what poor Zaruhi must have done to provoke this kind of animalic reaction.

    • Avery said:

      The bastard did not get away with. He got 10 years, max under the law he was charged.
      It was not murder: the closest similar charge in the US is Voluntary Manslaughter.
      You don’t life for manslaughter.
      In California the Legislated range for the charge of Voluntary Manslaughter is 3-18 years.
      (Judge decides on the actual length given).
      The average time served for manslaughter in the USA is 6 years. That’s right: 6 years.
      Average time served for murder in USA is 24 years. That’s for murder.

      And Armenian men do realize Armenian women are human.
      Maybe Armenian women need to realize that Armenian men are also human.
      Almost every month another young Armenian man is killed by Azeri snipers.
      I haven’t seen many Armenian women (other than their own families) protesting about that: have you ?
      How many Armenian young women have volunteered to stand guard at the LOC in Artsakh and face death every day ?
      Maybe the reason is that men are considered expendable.
      Societies expect men to be killed, so others – including Armenian women – can live.

      And as others have said here: how is it that the mother in law was not charged ?
      She was just as culpable and participated in the beatings. Maybe the Armenian society is not ready to charge a woman with manslaughter ? What do you think ?

      • Gourgen said:

        I wholeheartedly agree sireli Avery, as I usually find myself doing when reading your logical and level-headed comments.

        While I understand the outrage, I’ll be the dark horse here and say that at least he got something. Where are all that were so sure that he would just get away with it? I assure you 10 years in an Armenian prison is no picnic.

        And if anything, women in Armenian society are held to an overly high standard. They are considered saints and holy, and rightfully so. But let’s now get carried away. In case you haven’t noticed, everything you have is thanks to your fathers and/or husbands. You have all the freedoms in the world that 50% of the world’s female population can only dream of. I am not saying that abuse of women should in any way be tolerated, it is a disgusting crime only a vile creature can commit, but let’s blow this out of proportion.

      • Ara said:

        Avery what that guy did was murder in the absolute worst sence, and he killed her because he thought he could get away with it. I don’t know how you can call it anything other than a brutal murder. He should have got a much longer sentence and if it were up to me he would have gotten the death penalty. End of the story.

  6. Gaytzag said:

    10 years is not enough sentence for the murderous husband of Zaruhi.

    Zaruhi’s mother-in-law must be tried and sentenced as well. Zaruhi’s mother-in-law must not bring up the child.

    The child must be placed under the care of Zaruhi’s sister.

  7. David said:

    So, the murderer and his mother beat this lovely young woman to death FOR DAYS and he gets only 10 years in Prison and Armenia has no domestic violence laws? That’s a crime too. And what about the killers mother-she gets no penalty and might even get custody of their child? So a life in Armenia is only worth 10 years? Sounds like time for an Armenian Womens Awakening to put an end to the abuse by these violent Neanderthal animals posing as men. What a disgrace.

  8. Ara said:

    This guy should have been fried on a chair for doing this to his wife, but instead he is getting 10 years? WOW!!! I guess it’s not a big deal to bruttaly murder someone in Armenia, specially if she is your wife and the mother of your child.