BY HOORY MINOYAN
AYF Youth Corps Blog
Yesterday was a very emotional day for me, as I participated in a protest in Armenia for the first time. The circumstances are as follows:
Two weeks ago, on June 17, I landed in Yerevan, overwhelmed to be back home. Little did I know, upon my arrival, 3 military doctors were brutally beaten at Harsnakar Restaurant, which is owned by one of Armenia’s very well connected parliamentarians. Two of the three were badly injured and unfortunately one of them, Vahe Avetyan, was murdered.
A mix of mourners and protesters gathered in front of the restaurant to express their anger, frustrations, pain, and utter disillusionment with the current situation. Hundreds of candles were lit, the walls were smeared with the words “oligarchi hantsakordz,” “sbantanots,” and “chek marseloo.” The crowd passionately chanted the likes of “martasban” “baykar” and “amot” as they confronted the police keeping them from entering the building.
This senseless murder was a perfect example of the unchecked “goshd-gobid” behavior of Armenia’s oligarchy. It has come to the point that these people use and abuse their power knowing that, most likely, some fake measure of “justice” is the worst they will have to deal with. Simply stated, the rule of law does not exist in Armenia when it comes to its oligarchic class of thugs.
Throughout the protest, I felt as though I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I had pain in my heart and nothing but anger on my mind. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that showed up and protested furiously no matter how intensely the rain poured down on them. I honestly was expecting a much smaller turnout, however I was truly inspired by my surroundings. The biggest question going through my mind and the mind of the other protesters was “How can an Armenian kill another Armenian so senselessly?” No matter how tragic the circumstances are, I feel as though the people of Armenia are taking a step in the right direction by standing up for their humanitarian rights and working towards a better future no matter what the odds are against them.