We demand fair and effective investigation for hate crimes

YEREVAN, ARMENIA- Two incidents of hate crimes were committed in Yerevan on the grounds of the victims’ sexual orientation and gender identity during the past month. The incidents caused multiple physical injuries and significant emotional distress to the victims.

On February 27, 2018 a transgender woman was beaten in her apartment, and then her apartment was set on fire. Consequently, she was hospitalised, fell into a coma, and regained consciousness on the fourth day of hospitalisation. Then, on April 1, 2018, a 15-year-old boy was stabbed in downtown Yerevan by a 35-year-old man who suspected that the boy is a ‘faggot.’ The boy was hospitalised with penetrating wounds of the chest and pelvis.

In both cases, the predators were released from the police office on the condition that they would not leave Armenia. 

These crimes are the consequences of the indifference of Armenian law enforcement agencies, the hate propaganda by the Armenian government officials and the biased decisions of the jurisprudence systems. As a result, people who are full of hateful thoughts and behaviour towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, have the mindset that their actions are above the Law and they will have the support of law enforcement agencies and remain unpunished. Moreover, we presented evidence of comments threatening to kill or injure LGBT individuals on social media as well as evidence of crime already conducted against LGBT individuals, which remained non-investigated ‘due to lack of criminality or inability to find the victim.’ Comments on social media indicate people’s desire to injure LGBT individuals or heroise the person who committed the crime. This  proves that hate propaganda and State inactivity  put the lives of anyone associated with the LGBT community in danger.

Hence, we, the members of the undersigned organisations, express our deep concerns about the above-mentioned hate crimes as well as the unfair and biased investigation of these incidents by Armenian authorities. We demand full and unbiased investigation and conviction of the predators. Moreover, we demand the Armenian Law Enforcement agencies to:

  • Conduct full, comprehensive and objective investigations of these crimes based on the principles of equality and fair trials for all citizens,
  • Convict the predators according to legislation,
  • Implement and conduct appropriate statistical analysis about the incident of hate crimes,
  • Take all the appropriate measures to efficiently prevent and/or punish hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the future,
  • Adopt appropriate strategies to reduce hate speech and hate propaganda against LGBT individuals.

PINK Armenia

New Generation Humanitarian NGO

Real World, Real People NGO

Society Without Violence NGO

Center for Legal Initiatives NGO

Bekum NGO

Women’s Resource Center NGO

Women’s Support Center NGO

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor

Open Society Foundation-Armenia

Media Initiatives Center

“Asparez” Journalists Club

Yerevan Press Club

Human Rights House Yerevan

Women’s Rights Center NGO

Disability Info NGO

Spitak Helsinki Group

Peace Dialogue NGO

Sexual Assault Crisis Center

My Lawyer NGO

Helsinki Committee of Armenia

Free Citizen NGO

Journalists for Human Rights NGO

Human Rights Power NGO

Helsinki Association NGO

Non-discrimination and Equality Coalition

Coalition to Stop Violence against Women

Human Rights Research Center NGO

Protection of Rights without Borders NGO

Colorful House Social-Cultural and Human Rights Defender NGO