LOS ANGELES—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Shant Student Association on Wednesday issued a statement condemning a recent hate crime in Yerevan that has sparked controversy. Below is the text of the statement.
The news of a recent fire-bombing incident at a private business operating in Yerevan is disturbing. Furthermore, the fact that the violence was motivated by intolerance and homophobia makes it even more outrageous and deserving of the strongest condemnation.
In the aftermath of this incident, certain groups and individuals have opted to point the finger of blame on the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, simply because the suspects apprehended for the unfortunate crime allegedly have affiliations with the organization. What has inflamed the matter further are the equally unfortunate statements made by some individual party members in Armenia.
The egregious act and the subsequent statements run counter to the fundamental tenets and ideology of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. As the ARF Program states: “the ARF advocates individual freedoms and rejects all forms of and expressions of domination and exploitation including fascism, racism, and chauvinistic manifestations of national supremacy.”
The ARF firmly believes that democracy is anchored by respect for human and civil rights and freedoms for all and that free expression, even amongst party members, is vital to the growth and development of any peoples.
True to its ideology, the ARF is dedicated to utilizing its resources to defending the political, economic, social, and cultural interests of the Armenian nation with the goal of creating the Free Armenian, the Free Citizen, and a free homeland.
We stand in full support of an Armenia that is free of all forms of discrimination, intolerance, and violence. Those responsible for the crime must be brought to justice to the full extent of the law. We, along with countless others inside Armenia and throughout the Diaspora will be vigilantly advocating equal rights by encouraging a long overdue dialogue and discourse that will advance the cause of freedom and free expression and quell any future incidents that target a group or individuals that are subjected to discrimination.
ARMENIAN REVOLUTIONARY FEDERATION “SHANT” STUDENT ASSOCIATION (USA)