The rights of LGBT people are systematically violated in Armenia. LGBT people do not seek protection from law enforcement fearing that their sexual orientation and gender identity will be revealed or they will be subject to double discrimination by the law enforcement agency itself.
There are numerous cases when LGBT individuals are threatened that information regarding their personal lives will be published, including exchanged photos or text communication that reveal their identity, and perpetrators even elicit money or actions to keep silent.
In such situation, it is important to turn to a trustworthy lawyer in order to get advice, to learn about one’s rights and eventually to understand whether one should report to law enforcement body or not.
Pink Armenia has repeatedly monitored and recorded various attempts to extort money from LGBT persons, and this year similar cases already took place.
The offenders are trying to win the person’s trust, and learn about private information, later on they begin to threaten that personal information about the person will be published if that person doesn’t give them money, sometimes offenders demand to have sexual relations or subject them to sexual assault.
In one registered case, the offender promised that he will delete all the information if the victim paid him money and had sex with him, otherwise he threatened to tell about the victim’s sexual orientation to the victim’s parents.
Thanks to the immediate report to the lawyer, a decision was made to inform the police, a criminal case was opened against the perpetrator and he was arrested.
Nevertheless, it is unfortunate to note, that law enforcement bodies are not able to work properly with LGBT individuals, often avoiding giving legal interpretation that the crime was committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as not considering forced sexual intercourse as sexual violence, so we have a lot of work to do in this field.