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In memory of Adriana, a trans woman who was stabbed and burned in her own apartment the previous day, the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO held a candlelight vigil in Komitas Park, Yerevan, yesterday, August 21, at 20:00. Nico Schermers, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Armenia, Chris Perkins, Head of the Political and Press Section of the British Embassy, representatives of various organizations operating in the field, human rights defenders, Adriana’s friends, more than a hundred LGBTIQ activists, and supporters participated in the candlelight ceremony. Adriana’s family members were also present.
We have repeatedly mentioned, that cases of hatred and violence against Trans and LGBIQ people do not find an appropriate response, which has already led to the formation of an atmosphere of impunity. Unfortunately, even at this tragic moment, when the LGBTIQ community and the relatives of the brutally murdered trans woman were sharing their pain and grief by holding a symbolic candlelight vigil, a group of people dared to attack and throw eggs, bottles, stones, and sand at the gathered people, causing anxiety and panic among persons who already were in a tough psychological situation. It should also be noted that the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO notified the police in advance about the candlelight vigil, but the police officers in the area did not react to the incident in any way and approached only after the activists themselves approached and called them. Right after the candlelight vigil, Lilit Martirosyan, the founder and president of the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO filed a report to the RA police about the incident. We call on the police to immediately identify and hold accountable those persons who disrespect human grief and commit violence with undisguised hatred, as well as to focus attention and give an appropriate response to the thousands of comments containing hate speech, physical violence and death threats, and justifying violence under the news circulating on the Internet since the murder of a trans woman.
August 22, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan