YEREVAN (A.W.)—A hate crime against LGBT activists in Yerevan on Feb. 15 highlighted the discrimination against LGBT individuals in the country. The five activists were attacked and beaten by three unknown assailants on Yerevan’s Moskovyan Street at around 9 p.m.
The assailants reportedly cursed and began beating one of the activists. When the victim’s friends rushed to help, they too were subjected to beatings. The attackers mocked the physical appearance of the first victim, and used homophobic hate slurs.
Two of the victims work at Public Knowledge and Need to Know (Pink) Armenia, an organization that defends LGBT rights in the country.
The following day, when the first victim admitted himself to the N1 hospital in Yerevan, he faced discrimination once again. According to Mamikon Hovsepian, head of Pink Armenia, one of the medical professionals told the victim, “Come, let’s do a blood test on you. Let’s see if you have a deviance. [We’ll] cure the deviance,” reported epress.am. According to Hovsepian, the hospital also failed to properly examine the victim.
The victims have filed a report of the attack with the police. According to Hovsepian, the victims also intend to file a complaint with the Ministry of Health about the conduct of the medical professionals.
The Coalition to Stop Violence against Women—an umbrella group of seven organizations—issued a statement condemning the attack, as well as the ensuing discrimination against one of the victims.
“[We] strongly condemn discrimination-based violence. Such instances reinforce and help spread stereotypes against LGBT individuals and encourage hate speech in our society. We call upon law-enforcement to expose the culprits of this hate crime, and to bring them before the law. We urge the health sector to adhere to their calling, and, above all, to exhibit professional behavior towards victims of abuse. No healthy society justifies violence,” read part of their statement.