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Crimes based on SOGI are widespread in our society

Every year, “Pink” Human Rights Defender NGO documents human rights violations and discrimination cases based on sexual orientation and gender identity, providing legal assistance to LGBT people if necessary. These violations are registered through the organization’s hotlines, calls, letters, and messages received through the organization’s social media pages and by the organization’s lawyer, as well as through media monitoring.

During 2020, the organization registered violations related to the protection of LGBT individuals’ healthcare, life, work, education, right to free movement, respect for family and personal life, and other rights. 310 legal counselings were provided and 54 legal representations were carried out in courts, police stations and investigative bodies. Pink has registered 41 cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

A case was reported, where the right to non-discrimination and respect for the family and personal life of a homosexual man was violated by his employer. The person’s employer went through the employee’s mobile messages without his consent, where they read the employee’s private conversation with his partner. The employer informed the victim’s coworkers about his sexual orientation, who then started to make hints about it.

In another reported case, the coworkers of a bisexual woman in a same-sex relationship read personal correspondence with their partner, after which she was insulted and mocked. The employer also found out about the employee’s sexual orientation. Later, the woman was fired, and the reasoning was related to coronavirus reductions, but according to her, the real reason behind her job loss was her sexual orientation.

In another case, the mother of a bisexual woman read her private messages with her partner and found out about her daughter’s same-sex relationship. After that, the mother physically abused the young woman, threatened her and her partner. The victim had to leave the house and temporarily live in another place.

Cases of violence against trans women have been reported as well.

A trans woman rented an apartment in Yerevan for a year, and about two weeks after signing the lease, the landlord demanded her to leave the apartment by the end of the same month. According to her, this demand by the landlord is directly related to her gender identity. The woman’s neighbors found out that she was a trans woman and informed the landlord, who did not want a trans person to live in his apartment and she was forced to leave.

In another reported case, the neighbors of a group of trans individuals who rented an apartment collected signatures to demand that the landlord evicts the tenants. The landlord showed them the signature sheet and demanded to vacate the apartment. As a result, they had to leave.

There have been numerous cases of trans people being treated in an unfriendly manner and mocked whenever they were in a café, based on their gender identity.

In another instance, we have a case of restriction of freedom of expression and discrimination, when a trans woman published a dance video where she was personally featured. The video was widely circulated on the Internet, after which the person received numerous death threats and violent messages. The landlord of the victim’s apartment demanded that she leaves the apartment immediately after the landlord was informed about the video.

The number of violations against LGBT people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity is too high. As a result, crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity are quite common in our society. In this regard, the Republic of Armenia is obliged to respect and protect human rights and to provide an environment for the realization of these rights, where individuals will not be discriminated against based on any characteristics, specifically, based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.