As was reported earlier this week, former Asbarez editorial staff member and columnist Raffi Doudaklian was attacked on February 26 in Bourdj Hammoud, Lebanon by unknown assailants. Doudalian currently serves as the director of the Tufenkian Foundation, whose board of trustees on Wednesday issued the following statement about the attack.
By now, the public is aware that Raffi Doudaklian – a prominent Armenian writer, activist, and humanitarian – was severely beaten last week while on a humanitarian assignment in Lebanon. We are writing to express our dismay at this treacherous attack, carried out in the heart of Beirut’s Bourdj Hammoud district.
There is evidence that this was not a random act of violence. On the contrary, from the available evidence it appears this attack was premeditated, and that Raffi was the target. There is no simple explanation as to who carried this out, and why.
In his capacity as a concerned private citizen, Raffi regularly writes about social struggles, inequalities, and injustices faced by many living in Armenia today. His articles have attracted a wide following, and it is not inconceivable that these articles have led to this attack against him. If so, this is a matter of grave concern for all of us. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, and we have great difficulty accepting that any person, or group of persons, might choose violence rather than civil discourse to voice their disagreements or objections.
We are especially concerned given Raffi’s professional stature and involvements. As Director of the Tufenkian Foundation, Raffi has greatly contributed to the Foundation’s goals of strengthening civil society in Armenia and developing economic and infrastructure projects in Artsakh. Moreover, his work nobly serves our larger vision of a just, progressive, and secure homeland.
We expect that authorities with jurisdiction over this crime will conduct a thorough investigation to bring those responsible to justice. This type of criminal activity cannot be allowed to stand within our Armenian community.
In the meantime, we continue to commend Raffi’s involvement in civil society. We hope that this heinous act will not deter him from continuing on his path, freely and unfettered. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Board of Trustees
March 6, 2018