Non-Discrimination and Equality Coalition (hereinafter Coalition) strictly condemns the outbreak of extreme intolerance, hatred and violence in the village of Shurnukh in the Syunik region, which induced psychological and physical abuse against the lives and health of nine young people.
The Coalition insists that the responsibility for the incident is shared both equally with those who attacked the nine individuals hosted in one of the village resident’s house and the law enforcement agencies; in particular, the police officers, who for many years encouraged crimes of hate based on sexual orientation and gender identity due to their inactivity and lack of respect for universal humanitarian values.
If the Goris division of the Armenian Police had properly responded to the attack on two of the victims in Goris several months ago, the most recent victims would not have been the target of this attack that resulted in more serious health problems.
By not filing or noting the complaints of victims who suffer from hate crimes due to real or alleged difference in sexual orientation and gender identity, or even blaming the victims and labeling the cause of the offender’s actions as a result of a mitigating circumstance, RA Police and other law enforcement officers actually encourage such crimes.
For many years, The Republic of Armenia has failed to protect LGBT people from discrimination, non-violence and other rights abuses. Such rights and protections against discrimination and violence are defined by the Constitution and internationally ratified documents, for which the Republic of Armenia has engaged in blatant hypocrisy as a state that proclaims it values democracy and human rights. The protection of the rights of its citizens is paramount to the existence of a democratic state. The protection of citizens’ rights can only be achieved through positive and drastic change to state bodies that obstruct the enforcement of such rights.
The Coalition expresses strong willingness to support LGBT people’s rights and conveys its solidarity with the victims of the attack in the village of Shurnukh in the Syunik region; exhibiting deep respect for their struggle in the pursuance of rights protections.
The Coalition calls for the following:
- A proper, fair and impartial investigation of the case by the RA Police and other relevant bodies with the implementation of proportional and punitive measure of those responsible and found guilty.
- For the Armenian government to take swift action to eliminate all forms of hate crimes and discrimination in Armenia, both by means of legislative reform and regulation, and to condemn such crimes and seek justice for the sake of public safety and the protection of human rights.
The Coalition is willing to provide professional and technical assistance to achieve that goal.