YEREVAN—Dozens of civil activists on Saturday gathered near a restaurant complex in Yerevan to remember Vahe Avetyan, a military doctor who was brutally beaten to death there last year.
Avetyan and his friends were beaten following an argument with staffers of the restaurant owned by influential businessman Ruben Hayrapetyan. The incident happened on June 17, 2012. Avetyan, who suffered severe head injuries, died in hospital 12 days later.
Participants in yesterday’s action at the Harsnakar restaurant lit candles in memory of the young military doctor, who left a wife and two minor children. Speakers at the event expressed their discontent with the course of the current trial in the case, with some asserting that it was a display of cynicism on the part of the authorities.
Still, they gave assurances that the public interest in the case has not gone down.
Opposition Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian, who also attended the event, joined in the demand for a fair trial.
“There will either be changes or new murders. I want the former – the changes,” stressed Hovannisian, who called for forming a united civil front to carry on the struggle.
Participants of the action set up a stone in the venue, saying that an obelisk in memory of Avetyan will be erected there in the future. But after staging a march and returning to the place they found that the stone had been removed.
A police officer, who earlier called the placement of the stone illegal as the territory was private property, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service that it was civil activists themselves who removed it. But Vahe Avetyan group activists excluded that such a thing could happen, accusing the police of removing the stone. They said they would decide on their further actions after discussing the incident among themselves.