WEST HOLLYWOOD–In light of the recent violence against 9 LGBTQ individuals in Armenia, we call upon the Armenian government to publicly condemn this and all hate crimes targeting people due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Marginalized groups in Armenia have continuously been deprived of full legal protection and equal rights. It is our hope that the the new government of Armenia will stand firmly in defense of human rights and justice for all.

We ask that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Diaspora Minister Mkhitar Hayrapetyan publicly condemn the violent attacks that were perpetrated against Armenian LGBTQ activists and that Minister of Justice Artak Zeynalyan takes all necessary measures for legal action against the attackers in a fair and expeditious manner.

GALAS is also appalled by a post made this week by Armenian Parliament Member Gevorg Petrosyan (Prosperous Armenia party) on his Facebook page in which he states “we should have already driven out homosexuals, religious minorities and their protectors from our Holy Land.” All officials who dare make such vile, ignorant and hateful remarks must face consequences.

Our leaders, both in the homeland and in the Diaspora, have a responsibility to ensure our people are on the path toward a more just, civilized and respectful society. We all have the right to exist peacefully, without the threat of violence.

Now is the time for our leaders to speak courageously and fairly regarding these matters. Remaining silent and indifferent implies these acts are permissible and warranted with no consequences. We are all the sons and daughters of the Armenian nation and demand full protection and equality.

We stand with our brothers and sisters in Armenia who have long been discriminated against and oppressed. The “New Armenia” must defend the universal human rights of all its citizens in order to develop into a solid democracy that embraces all segments of society.

 

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