As we have already informed, on July 31, 2022, Lilit Martirosyan, the president of the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, reported that a user under the name of Vahe Yeghiazaryan publicly called for violence and death threats against trans people on the YouTube social platform. Many people also voiced hate speech and threats of violence in the comments of the video.

A few days before that incident, the same person cursed and beat a transgender woman A.N. in the area of the Rossia cinema in Yerevan while showing it in a live stream. The video showing the violence was widely circulated on the Internet, accompanied by hate speech and calls that encouraged violence. A.N. applied to the police regarding the incident. During the preliminary investigation, Vahe Yeghiazaryan admitted his guilt, compensated the damages suffered by the trans person A.N. and reconciled with the latter.

As a result, the criminal prosecution against Vahe Yeghiazaryan was terminated on the grounds of non-justification.

At the same time, during the initiated criminal proceedings, another person, Karen Arayan, who encouraged Vahe Yeghiazryan to commit violence against transgender people and who was also charged with making public calls for violence, stated that he did not call for any violence against transgender people. We hope that Karen Arayan and Vahe Yeghiazaryan will behave in a law-abiding manner, refraining from any harassment towards Trans and LGBIQ people.

The Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO consistently collects and documents cases of discrimination and violence against Trans and LGBIQ persons and urges the RA Police to conduct a proper investigation to identify the perpetrators and hold them accountable to the full extent of the law.

Once again, we are calling

  • RA police, prosecutor’s office, Human Rights Defender, and relevant bodies to ensure the safety of trans-LGBTQ persons, and all the rights granted to them by the RA constitution,
  • Diplomatic representatives, and international funders, who direct their resources and funds to the improvement of justice and establishing equality in RA, to take steps to prevent discrimination against community members and others.

Jul 10, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan

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