PINK Armenia NGO: We call on our fellow Armenian friends and citizens to respect the innocent victims, and not to defend terrorism and terrorist acts
YEREVAN (A.W.)—Several activists and mourners gathered at the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan on June 13 to remember and show solidarity with the victims of the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. The hate crime took place inside Pulse, an LGBT-friendly nightclub in Orlando, and resulted in 50 deaths, including the gunman, Omar Mateen, as well as more than 50 wounded.
“The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan expresses its deep thanks to those Armenians and Americans who have brought flowers to the Embassy as a sign of sorrow and solidarity following the mass shooting in Orlando. Such a barbaric act of terror and hate targets not just one bar, one state, or one country, but all those, anywhere in the world, who believe in freedom and equality,” read a part of the statement posted on the embassy’s official Facebook page on June 13.
“As Americans move forward in sorrow, we will draw inspiration from our friends, here in Armenia and around the world, whose expressions of support remind us that in the face of hate and violence not to give into fear but stand united in defense of the values we all share,” said U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, Jr., in the post.
A candlelight vigil in memory of the innocent victims was also organized in front of the embassy on the evening of June 13, during which representatives from Public Information and Need of Knowledge (PINK Armenia) NGO, joined Ambassador Mills in laying the collected flowers at the base of the Embassy’s flag, which was flying at half-staff.
PINK Armenia also released a statement on its website expressing condolences for the victims and condemning the crime. “We, representatives of the LGBTI community, supporters, civil society representatives and Armenian citizens, condemn the hate crime committed at the nightclub, as well as express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims. We condemn hate speech, which rises after incidents like this online in support of the terrorist and other acts of terror. We call on our fellow Armenian friends and citizens to respect the innocent victims, and not to defend terrorism and terrorist acts,” read a part of the statement.