Samara, Russia – Yesterday, Armen Sahakyan’s funeral took place in Samara, Russia. The 19-year old Armenian immigrant was murdered by unknown assailants on January 15. A huge crowd had gathered at the funeral; a varied group of Armen’s childhood friends and classmates; Armenians, Russian, Tatars, and even Asians. Relatives and friends of Armen could not comprehend the reason for Armen’s murder. It is impossible to hate and kill people just because they have another ethnicity. “Armen was an excellent student; he had no enemies and was not in debt.” “We believe that friendship has no nationality,” Armen’s classmates said, “We are a group of students half Armenian, half Russian. Like Armen, we live peacefully, and without conflict. He was modest peaceful individual, yet we are shocked he was killed only because he was not Russian.”

Armen’s father Andranik Sahakian, incidentally, a retired police officer has no doubt that the murder of his son was in fact due to his nationality. “I am confident that my son was killed simply because he is Armenian.”

It’s noteworthy that murder was committed on the day of the commemoration protest dedicated to Spartak FC fan Yegor Sidorov. While family and friends hope that law enforcement will find the perpetrators of Armen’s murder, this is the second tragedy in the Sahakian family. Several years ago Armen’s grandfather was murdered near their house. The motive and perpetrators’ of that murder have yet to be uncovered, and relatives believe that murder was also due to ethnicity.

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