A week ago, on June 13 of this year, a user registered with the name “@maxutka_arm” posted a video on the TikTok social media platform, calling for committing physical violence against LGBTIQ people. In particular, this user wrote that a new group is forming in Yerevan, which will free the city from gays, write a direct message to join. The TikTok has collected more than 37,800 views and more than 200 comments within a week. The vast majority of comments welcomed the initiative, many people called for murder and violence, and several dozen people expressed their willingness to join the group. Some users publicly provided their phone numbers or Telegram account names to join the organizing group, and many wrote that they informed the admin of their details by direct message. Another user named “@xx_armiran_xx_official” offered in the comments to cooperate with them, as they are also planning to form a similar group. On the same day, the user “@maxutka_arm” posted another video, in which they inform that they are “14-15 years old, and those who want to join should write their information to form a Viber group and discuss”. In the comments of this video, many people provided their information and expressed their willingness to join the group as well.

The legal team of the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO is preparing materials regarding these posts to apply to the RA police.

The Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO strongly condemns violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity and will pursue the identification and prosecution of the authors of these publications. We would like to emphasize that over the past year, there has been an increase in calls for violence and physical violence against Trans and LGBIQ people, as evidenced by the documented cases of physical violence over the past year.

The Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO consistently collects and documents cases of discrimination and violence against Trans and LGBIQ persons․  This year, the RA Investigative Committee and TikTok reached an agreement on the implementation of mechanisms for rapid response and urgent exchange of necessary information in cases of publication of information on crimes on the social platform, so we urge RA Investigative Committee to conduct a proper investigation to quickly identify the violators, bring them to justice, and eliminate the atmosphere of impunity that perpetuates violence against Trans and LGBIQ persons.

Jun 20, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan

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