Barsoumian: Domestic Abuse? What Abuse? …She Fell and Died!

Twenty-year-old Zaruhi Petrosyan became one of the latest victims of domestic violence in Armenia when she was viciously beaten to death by her husband and mother-in-law, says the victim’s sister, Hasmig.

In an interview with, Hasmig recounted a horrific story of abuse that her late sister, mother to an infant girl, suffered, and the impotence and unwillingness of the police to act when faced with cases of domestic violence.

Zaruhi’s relatives insist that by the time she was transported to a hospital, she had been severely beaten for days in a row.

“The neighbors have stated [to the Masis police] that on the day of my sister’s death, they entered the apartment and witnessed how they [the husband and the mother-in-law]… had broken her knees and fingers, crushed her skull, and stuffed cloth in her mouth, to stop the bleeding. Then, one of the neighbors told their son to call the cops. When her mother-in-law and husband realized that the cops would be on their way, in her beaten state, they threw [Zaruhi] down the stairs, pulled her body back into the house, so that they could tell the cops that she fell down the stairs and crushed her bones,” said Hasmig.

The sister believes that Yanis Sarkisov, her sister’s husband, broke Zaruhi’s fingers after she tried to dial for help.

[monoslideshow id=6]

Slideshow images are courtesy of Araz Artinian, a documentary filmmaker, humanitarian worker, and activist, who uses various creative modes to raise awareness about issues of concern, especially injustices affecting women and children in Armenia.

Hasmig revealed that from the beginning of her sister’s marriage to Yanis, in March 2008, she was constantly subjected to severe beatings until blood would pour out of her nose and mouth, and she would lose consciousness.

“They beat my sister even in her pregnant state,” said Hasmig.

On a number of occasions, Zaruhi went to Hasmig’s home covered in bruises. She’d tell them that her husband and his mother had repeatedly beaten her, demanding that she call her relatives and ask for money for his car payments.

“It so happened that my sister separated from her husband and lived with us for about two weeks. Every day her husband would call and threaten her, that if you don’t come back home, I will come over and kill you and your sister’s family, and if you go out of the house, I will kill you outside,” said Hasmig.

They went to the police twice, said Hasmig, “And it’s even in writing that if he so much as touches her, they would take him in…the Masis [Police Department].”

“But they all turned a blind eye,” Hasmig’s mother-in-law added.

Yanis would brag about his cousin who held a high-ranking position in the Etchmiadzin police. Since his wife was an orphan girl, he’d say, he could do anything he wanted with her, even kill her, if he wished.

Hasmig’s mother-in-law, who witnessed Zaruhi’s beatings and the bruises on her body, confirmed her story.

Gayane Markaryan, the director of Pyureghavan’s Care and Protection Center, the shelter where Hasmig and Zaruhi had stayed prior to their marriages, told a similar story. When on the few occasions Markaryan had contacted Zaruhi to ask about her wellbeing, Zaruhi had said that she was miserable and often beaten.

“Six or seven months ago, she was already complaining that my life isn’t good, I’m constantly beaten and tortured, they’re keeping me and my child in terror. And 15 days ago, she called and began to cry, saying there is always a fight in our house, my mother-in-law this, my brother-in-law that…and on and on,” said Markaryan.

Now her relatives are afraid the truth is being covered up by the police, because Zaruhi is an “unprotected child.”

According to Hasmig, when she began telling the Masis police about the beatings and abuse her sister was suffering, the investigator kept declaring that her story was unimportant and irrelevant, in an attempt to smooth over the alleged crime.

Hasmig’s mother-in-law said that when she criticized the investigator, she was escorted outside the station and reprimanded by his officers for being too loud.

Meanwhile, the police and hospital reports on Zaruhi’s death contradict one another: The cause of death and even the time of death do not match.

According to Hasmig, the police investigator claimed he spoke to Zaruhi at 2 a.m., which is when she allegedly told him that she fell down the stairs. “My sister died at 1; how could the investigator have spoken with her at 2?” said Hasmig.

Furthermore, the hospital staff claimed that before her death, Zaruhi’s request was “don’t prosecute my husband.”

Yanis, who has since been detained and is undergoing questioning, denies having committed any crime, saying “I am not guilty. She fell and died.”

‘Typical mentality’

The story should bring the issue of domestic violence to the forefront of Armenia’s national agenda; at least, that is what many activists are hoping for. Some have called for legislative steps to protect the rights of women in Armenia, many of whom are victims of abuse.

Despite overwhelming evidence confirming that domestic abuse is rampant in Armenia, news reports and personal accounts make a case that Armenia’s authorities choose to ignore, or even worse, deny.

One blogger, Artmika, writes: “I remember when relatively recently the Women’s Resource Centre wanted to put posters in Yerevan to highlight the problem of domestic violence and indicate a hotline for those affected to call, the Yerevan municipality refused to allow it by claiming there is no such problem in Armenia. Typical mentality. Let’s pretend that we do not have such problem, let’s not talk about it, otherwise it may affect our image… Instead of facing up [to] the problem and developing effective means to tackle it. In the meantime, cases, like the one [above], keep happening…”

Studies show that only 17 percent of domestic abuse victims reach out to the police. However, the deputy head of the Police Order Maintenance Department, Karen Mehrabyan, has argued that “If it were so, then every third man is also subjected to violence, because women always pressure them to bring money home,” reported ArmeniaNow.

In April, the director of the Women’s Rights Center, Susanna Vardanyan, told ArmeniaNow’s Gayane Abrahamyan that her organization had initiated a draft law on domestic violence, which had been examined by various ministers and officers of the law. “Five years ago, we could not even have said that. High-ranking officials would just have laughed and said such a problem did not exist in Armenia, that these were just isolated cases, but now many are even ready to support the adoption of the law.”

Zaruhi’s death has sparked renewed efforts to protect the rights of women within the home. Citing her death, a petition has been drafted by a concerned party, titled “Armenia Must Pass Domestic Violence Legislation,” on an online petition site that aims to collect 1,000 signatures.

Because family is a strong unit in Armenia, no one wants to speak about abuse, while the government claims it is a private matter, Heather McGill, a researcher with Amnesty International told Inter Press Service in 2009.

‘The traditional Armenian image’

Meanwhile, on Sept. 29, only a couple of days before Zaruhi’s death, Armenia’s Diaspora Ministry announced it was organizing a “Miss Armenian” beauty contest.

According to the minister, Hranush Hakobyan, participants, local or diasporan, are expected to have “mastered” the Armenian language, be good cooks, and “preserve the image of an Armenian woman,” reported

When asked to elaborate on “the image of an Armenian woman,” Hakobyan said, “To tell you the truth, I don’t accept filthy, ill-mannered girls.” A woman must be “modest.”

“I also don’t accept journalists who raise their pens and attempt to write filth about the traditional Armenian image in the papers,” she added.

“Really good things can be portrayed in these processes of globalization, while the bad is not reproduced. The world is changing very quickly, it’s getting smaller. We can see and comprehend all the social phenomena of different countries, but the traditional Armenian woman is a good mother, a good daughter, a good wife. All her actions, really, are balanced and measured,” she said.

The Armenian woman should “be within [her] limits.”

While it appears the Ministry is encouraging self-censorship in matters that could harm the national image, activists are asking for a larger and louder chorus.

In an open letter, Armenia’s Society Without Violence condemned the death of Zaruhi, adding, “As women’s rights NGO members, we call human rights organizations, activists, interested people, mass-media, and international organizations to be observant, to highlight this case by every possible way of dissemination, to provide the publicity and transparency of the case investigation and the trial for reaching the fair judgment of [the] 20-year-old woman’s murderers.”

“Otherwise the stereotypes, that such crimes are inter-family issues, that such cases do not deserve to be in the public’s and law enforcement bodies’ attention will have more and profound roots in our society.”

“With our silence we will allow such crimes to be justified and guilty people to avoid the punishment determined by law. In other words, by our silence we will have more innocent victims.”

Nanore Barsoumian

Nanore Barsoumian

Nanore Barsoumian was the editor of the Armenian Weekly from 2014 to 2016. She served as assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly from 2010 to 2014. Her writings focus on human rights, politics, poverty, and environmental and gender issues. She has reported from Armenia, Nagorno-Karabagh, Javakhk and Turkey. She earned her B.A. degree in Political Science and English and her M.A. in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts (Boston).
Nanore Barsoumian

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  1. Abuse of women happens everywhere, and will probably continue to happen as it has throughout the ages. But this is the shadow side of the macho society that is Armenia, where (some) men think they own their woman, once a woman has committed to them. Also Armenia is a country where corrupt baboons  who siphon off millinos have hijacked and straight-jacketed an entire people and shoved them into the hell-pit of poverty, enhacing national desperation. Yanis is obviously a classic armenian neandethal and the son of a very wicked woman. There is no hope for either of them. May they both be run over by the same diesel belching truck – preferably a garbage bin on wheels topped up to the max and on its way to the dump.

  2. It is good to see that Armenia’s domestic realities are being echoed in Diaspora media recently. The Diaspora media played a big role in keeping Hayastan and Disapora distinct and distant by promoting segregation and diaspora-centrism in the news. It is with increased awareness on life and realities in Armenia that the communities may become more aware, more attached and more integrated and engaged!
    Thank you Nanore for touching upon an important issue that others would rather skip and keep deep in the closets it never happens to come out of.

  3. This is a very sad news.  I don’t give a rat’s whatever about Armenian Schmarminian home values.  What good is it when a murderer belligerent barbaric husband will have the right to murder our most precious sex of all (our humble beautiful women) and the murderers will get away with murder.  JUSTICE MUST PREVAIL in any nationality and in any society.  We do not live in the 15th, 16th or the 17th century anymore, but in the 21st century.  In Armenian we say; “TSUGE KELUKHEN GE HODI” and indeed this is a case of police negligence and police’s responsibility.  It is apparent that as much as the husband and the mother-in-law of Zaruhi are responsible for her death; but the police of Etchmiadsin and Masis are just as much responsible for her Zaruhi’s death; because of coverup.  It is obvious that Zaruhi’s husband Sarkisov wasn’t kidding when he said that he is not afraid to killing Zaruhi because his cousin is a high ranking officer in Etchmiadsin.  Zaruhi was a victim of two people (the murderer husband Yanis and his murder mother) and plus two organizations (the police department in Etchmiadsin and the police department in Masis).  They all worked together to suck the blood and the life out of beautiful sweet 20 year old young angel woman, ZARUHI PETROSYAN.

    Both the husband Yanis Sarkisov, his mother must face either a live sentence or the electric chair; and both the high ranking officers of Etchmiadsin and Masis must be tried for homicide cover-up for the murderers. 

  4. Hye, the treatment of women in Haiastan as now evidenced by Zaruhi’s cruel treatment and death, there is not any reason for this violence against women, especially in marriages, or, as in this case a violent mother-in-law to  be ignored – even by the police!  NOW a law shall be passed by the Armenian Naitonal Assembly declaring the inhumanity of such actions – enough that the Armenians suffered the Turkish inhumanity to humans – we Armenians, should not be as the Turks of history, of today.  ZARUHI’S LAW, in her memory, shall become a priority… Armenian women, from our own Armenian history and more,  shall be cherished and cared for – for their families, for their children, for Haiastan.  I am saddened for her children, for their loss of their loving mother…  Manooshag

  5. As I said above, the murderer husband of Zaruhi Petrosyan; Yanis Sarkisov and his mother must face either a life sentence or the electric chair and both the high ranking officers of Etchmiadsin and Masis must be tried for the cover up when they knew very well how poor Zaruhi was constantly being abused.  This must be done so that other husbands and mother-in-laws would not take advantage of the very soft or non existing Domestic Violence laws in Armenia.  That is why many beautiful, gorgeous Armenian women seek husbands outside of the country.  If Armenia truly believes in the sanctitude of the home and the family, then they must prevent things like this happening and the government must see to it that the softer and the weaker gender (the women of Armenia) are completely protected.

  6. This is what happens in a society where all men are alcoholics.  Russia has always been known for all its drunks who bathe in vodka and how 100% of women in Russia are abused by their drunk husbands.  When Russia became the USSR and spread and imposed its culture on all the countries it occupied, the men in Armenia turned into a bunch of drunk wife-beaters, just like the Russians.  I’m sure it’s like this in every former-Soviet republic.
    The USSR is the cause of a lot of problems that Armenia has today.
    I’m happy that there are campaigns for protecting women and ending domestic violence, but I think there should also be campaigns for reducing alcoholism in the country.  That would improve the character of men in Armenia immensely.

  7. Unfortunately, the husband and his vicious mother may actually get away with the crime. I believe, the police are very corrupt in Armenia. Someone very powerful has to step in to make sure that the guilty get the punishment they deserve.

    Many women in Armenia do not even realize that their rights are being violated. Extreme cases like this one are rare but there are a lot of women who take verbal and pshychological abuse on a daily basis and think that it is the norm. Another sad thing is that many men in Armenia are still not mature enough to stand up to their mothers who have not business sticking their noses into other peoples’ personal lives even if the person is their son.

  8. Shame on abuser Armenian men, and shame on the responsible government authorities! An Armenian honorable man does not abuse even an enemy women, nor children. How you satisfy your actions when you are abusing your spouse? you must protect her, so she loves and honors you… Shame on you! Shame on Armenian governments responsible party; you must prosecute publicly any abuser so they can learn a valuable lesson that “no one is above the law”. Shame on you corrupt government authorities! You will not be able to escape God’s judgment of your actions…

  9. It’s not just domestic violence in Armenia that is covered up. Why does a wife or mother fear should their man be taken to the police station? How many murderers have gotten away with a crime because the victim had no station in life? It’s as if some Armenians still wear the cloak of the bear.

  10. Dear Դրօ, the treatment of women in Armenia has nothing to do with the USSR, if it wasn’t for the USSR women would be treated in Armenia worse than in Iran and Afghanistan. This is a direct result of centuries of Islamo-Turkic rule, Armenian culture has yet to shed the Islamo-Turkic values imposed on it through centuries of servitude.

  11. I agree with Armen on the point that USSR is not to blame for the treatment of Armenian women. Also, Armenian men aren’t really into drinking. Those who abuse their wives, do so, drunk or not. It has to do more with their mentality than anything else. Of course, consumption of alcohol/drugs always makes things so much worse but that’s not what causes the problem in the first place. I also agree that in Western countries women enjoy a lot more freedom than in Islamic countries but can we take the entire blame from us and put it on Islamo-Turkic influence based on that fact? This is in Eastern Armenia. It is OUR problem and WE are the ones responsible for it.  

  12. By the way, I there is a link to sign a petition for passing a domestic violence legislation in Armenia. It’s in the next to last paragraph in section ‘Typical mentality,’  in case you haven’t noticed. 

  13. All I know, this should be the last one it happens in Armenia, and everyone was involved of the dead of the young mother of two kids, must be punished very severely and justly, where is the low of justice in Armenia? Is the Armenian government happy by what happened to the victim, her kids, and her parents, I am looking forward to see how the authorities are going to act, it will be very shameful if nothing changes, my God how painful it is just to read about what happened , is there a deference between Turkish killer and Armenian one, when they both do the same (killing Armenian woman), how ugly, shameful and sad it will be, if that so called (husband) and (mother in low), will be let to walk away unpunished. I think this is a direct result, of our people lack in understanding the Christianity, which has been taken away from them unfortunately, at the time of the communism, and before that by Islamic rulers when they occupied our lands, we need to go back to our original Armenian values, which will need a big effort of everybody, starting from the top and all the way to the bottom, and may Holly Trinity help us and prevent us from such mistakes.        

  14. So, where is the church on this issue?  It is time for them to speak up about something important and stand for something in the way their Master would have and did defend women.

  15. they shouldn’t be any court order just torture them first and then throw away there body in fire. they are bastard and they are not a human. oh, I’m so upset my BP run up and my tears are running down so sorry for their family and friends.

  16. Disgraceful.My father always told me of our writers,poets,musicians,great men of the past,always trying to underline the culture aspect of Armenian civilization.Of course Armenia is not the only country where such things happen,but do we have to accept such sick attitudes in our mother-country?

  17. Of course this kind of abuse is seen around the world, in all nations.  I am sorry to say that I heard stories like this when I was young, when the old women would gather and talk about their lives.  They would tell about someone’s mean husband or in-laws in the stories about life in the villages.  Still I am shocked to read it here.  But it is a good thing that we are beginning to deal openly with this in our community so that it can be exposed and purged.  My prayers go to Zaruhi and Hasmik and her family and all the other women too afraid to speak up about their abuse.
    I agree with Jeremy, I want to hear from the church on this, as well as the top levels of government.

  18. Դրօ wrote;
    When Russia became the USSR and spread and imposed its culture on all the countries it occupied, the men in Armenia turned into a bunch of drunk wife-beaters, just like the Russians.
    Armen wrote;
    “This is a direct result of centuries of Islamo-Turkic rule, Armenian culture has yet to shed the Islamo-Turkic values imposed on it through centuries of servitude.”
    These are the silliest explanations and excuses you can find . It is just like the cover-up by the police officers. Although this kind of treatment of women is very common in particularly oriental countries, it should not be endorsed to one or two specific nations. It is time to face the reality and find solution to pull the women out of this shit. Apparently, that won’t be easy with the police force available, the police mentality is another important issue here, as important as the murderers themselves.
    I condemn whoever commit this kind of crime and whoever helps them.

    What a great opportunity for Armenia and Armenian bashers!!  The generalizations are overwhelming.  This crazed and probably mentally ill good for nothing man beats and kills his wife with the mother who raised him.  They should be put away for the rest of their lives so they do not do it again, regardless of a relative working on the police force.  However, condemning all the Armenian men for the sins of a few is an unjust act of generalization.  For each wife beater there are many more loving husbands and fathers among Armenians.  It is sad to see people leveraging any bad news like this for their own agendas.

  20. i am proud i signed a petition here in america recently for america to step up it’s pressure on governments in countries where this happens. i am appalled and ashamed to know this happens in armenia. many thanks to ms. barsoumian for revealing this horror.

  21. I am from Masis myself, and  know what the police there are like. I had to face some of the officials in Masis to get m papers doe to fly to India as I study here, and i must tell you, i had to go through hell. They just give no damn. You have contacts, you can get whatever you want to…No contacts???? Money might do, but if you have none, then nobody gives a damn if you are right or wrong. This is from my personal experience in  Masis. I did not know Zarouhi personally, bit she was the classmate of my brother’s girlfriend and they lived right in the next building as my brother classmate. I am sorry that these stuff still happen. When i went to Armenia, i was shocked to see the dictatorial approach men have towards their wives, and even girlfriends. I could not get one good reason behind it, but this has become a common “custom” on Armenia. I argued a lot about this, and they were to cool to accept my viewpoint. I mean, how can a person fall down the stairs and break so many bones? I fell down the stairs over 50 times..Don’t I have freaking bones?..babies fall down from 10th floor and survive, and Zarouhi died just falling down the stairs? Cmo’n man…I mean this requires no investigation..Its too obvious…This part of the Armenian Government makes me sick..ARMENIA SHOULG GET OVER THE UNFAIR METHODS OF CONTACTS AND MONEY……NOW, TAKING BRIBE HAS BECOME A RIGHT IN ARMENIA…..AND A MATTER OF COMMON SENSE TO KNOW EXACTLY WHICH DEPARTMENT CHARGES HOW MUCH BRIBNE FOR A PIECE OF WORK THAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO…I am sick reading this. LET JUSTICE PREVAIL…MAY RIGHT BE DONE>…Everyone, pray for Zaruhi and her relatives..May her soul rest in peace,…

  22. Nairian I agree with you, those two animals need to be thrown in jail for life or get the electic chair, how can they kill a human being like that, you are right Zaurhi was an angel who was tortured by those monsters. Drank mard kochvelu eravunk chunen!!!!!

  23. Resomen, that’s what I also said above.  The coverup of this barbarity came from both heads of the police stations of Etchmiadsin and Masis police.  They must be condemned as much as the murderers themselves (the husband Yani and his murderer mother).  Also the corrupt police system.  The government is also responsible if they don’t  condemn and severely punish this barbarity.  I am earnestly waiting to see what the government and the Church is going to do about this.  The Church must get involved and they must condemn the government if the government fails to put both the husband and the mother-in-law in prison for at least 100+ years or the electric chair.  As for both the police stations of Etchmiadsin and Masis, the heads of the police must also be tried and severely punished.  Bottom line, the Church must get involved as our Khrimian Hayrig, may God bless his beloved soul used to promote Fedayi behaviour against the barbarity of the Turks.  Now where is our Katolicos of all Armenians to have a great say in this matter and see to it that the government does the right thing and punish the murderers and the police who covered up the whole mess.  We need to put a law in Armenia in the name of Domestic Abuse law.  We need to see that our softer and the lovely women of our motherland Armenia are protected from these beastly behaviours of the men of Armenia who think and act barbarically with their women.  They must realize that women have the right to think, act and live as freely as their male counterpart.  Women are not anymore subservient to men than men are to women.  There is such a thing as compromise, free speech and freedom to be given and granted to women as it is to men.  These laws must prevail in Armenia as they are elsewhere, particularly in the west.

  24. Fredrick,

    What are you talking about?  What agendas?  None of us has any agendas here, we are simply outraged towards a good number of the male mentality in Armenia who think that women that are weaker in gender, must be and are subservient to men and therefore the men can beat the hell out of them and get away with it.  Whether it is their abusive beatings or their verbal abuse, it is the same.  These abusiveness even if it is 30% must be stopped.  We have the right to speak up about it and see to it that the government immediately and/or very soon to pass the Domestic Violence law for the sake of our women.  The system in there is also corrupted and we know this.  It is not news for us that a good number of male behaviours are abusive towards their women in Armenia.  We should all see to it that new laws be put to protect our women in there.  I said 30% but I know that I am being very lenient.  I know that the mentality of the male in there is more than 50% that act abusively towards their women, just because they are the weaker gender.  We must all work together to improve the situation in our motherland for the good of the sanctity of the Armenian household and for the future generations of Armenians.  Let us not forget that the children of these abusive husbands will be just as much abusively effected by their fathers and they will do the same thing to their own wives when they grow up.  We surely do not wish that these bad trends to continue for generations to come, right?  So now is the time to act and be actively involved to start changing for our entire peoples’ mentality.  We must look to the west and not to the east.  We don’t want these horrible trends to continue for generations to come.  So lets start putting our constructive criticisms and our constructive inputs for the better.

  25. Dear Armenian Girl,  I was recently there and I saw how gorgeous the young Armenian women are.  They are the sweetest, the most beautiful women in the world.  I made friends with some of them and they are mostly gems.  I never saw in any given country the warmth, the beautiful smiles and the kindheartedness of these young women anywhere else.  And when I hear such animal behaviours from some of the males in there it truly breaks my heart.  The warm and the sweet girls and women in Armenia surely do not deserve this kind of behaviours.  They must live freely, happily and produce beautiful children and be protected by the government and the Church as well.  No other country bears such warmth from their women as the Armenian women.  Plus our women are hard working, strong and brave too.  These kind of news breaks my heart to the point of bleeding.  If these horrible trends continue, it will undoubtedly affect the coming generations of Armenian males.  We must see to it that these horrible behaviours and trends are stopped immediately.  The only way is to have in effect the Domestic Violence law immediately in our country.

  26. Fredrick is right in saying that there are many Armenians that are loving husbands and fathers. My own father never raised his voice or a finger on my mother. I personally know lots of others in Armenia who love and respect their spouses. In fact, in the list of those who signed the online petition you will see lots of names of Armenian men who condemn what happened and demand that proper legislation be put in place.  

    However, we must accept, Fredrick, that Armenia is still very much a male dominated society, and there IS a problem of domestic violence.   

  27.    This is a horrible and sad story. It is also one that made the media. God only knows about the tragedies that happen under the media radar. Our church has a moral responsibility to stand up and be heard. Clergy must speak to this in their sermons to their parishionersm and the church leadership must use their influence to defend the rights of our women in these situations. The church must always be the voice of respect for each other and mutual love. Change will occur when outrage is expressed. The church states a desire to be relevent in the lives of our people according to the traditions of the Armenian church…… here is an opportunity to help.

  28. Maybe, an organized protest march on the main streets of the Capital city, may wake the some sleeping ignorant dummies up. We know that some women’s organizations supported by people and some other civil organizations can achieve some progress towards better living conditions for women.
    As for those two creatures I hope they would go to the bottom of hell and burn there for ever.

  29. Hye,Jeremy, certainly, in addtion to the government, the police ineffectiveness which reflects the ‘male’ mentality against the
    women… too, as you said, our Armenian church shall need to
    bring this issue – requiring all couples,all youth (male/female)
    attend appropriate services and local meetings to bring this
    open and out – to educate those who most need to learn that
    men and women are full and equal in the eyes of God, and full
    and equal before all the laws of Haiastan.   Turks have given our
    Armenian nation enough slaughters and worse – we Armenians are
    and should be recognizant of any such acts of INHUMANITY – we
    are an ancient and advanced peoples – not to be as the Turk!

  30. What century we are leaving that the wives will be beaten to death. Women are not slaves to their husbands neither to their in laws, women should be protected within their rights.

  31. its these kinds of things that make me not want to do anything for my own country , no matter how much you organize fund raisers and help the country grow there is no point, there is always greed , and i as an armenian know that in our culture money is most important to the majority of people. Crooked cops , government and everyday people is the problem here . Makes me sick.

  32. What an  idots…… Him and his mom both need to be in jail rest of their lives or die the way they killed her.Talking about Armenia, i was born there unfortunatlly… i have lived here more than i lived in Armenia. There is no such thing as LAW in Armenia, it is all about MONEY. if you want ot get somewhere you have to show some cash otherwise…
    Im ashamed to represent my self as an Armenian when i hear things like this and proud to be living in this country, LOVE USA. Shame, shame, shame …….

  33. Lilo,

    what an unfortunate fool you are. Yes, what happened was very tragic, and we all condemned the husband and his mother, and, yes, there is lots of corruption in Armenia, unfortunately. However, there are many people born in Armenia and currently living there who are ten times better than you, trust me. Armenia has been through extremely difficult times, and people there have a lot to be proud of. Your sense of superiority is simply ridiculous. I don’t know how long you have lived here but you still haven’t learned how to write in English. You better focus on your own problems.

  34. Jeremy, you are exactly right!  Speak up, holy church!  Armen is right, this is as loathsome as the killing of Armenian women by Turks.

  35. Hye, our Armenian church, our Armenian lawyers, our Armenian leadership, our Armenian police organizations, our Armenian youth of today, should all be made fully aware of the saddness of Zaruhi’s life… Not one more life is to abused in this manner.  Not one more member of the the Armenian government, at all levels – shall escape knowing of the death of Zaruhi, because she was a woman!  God created men and women – both with the heart and minds to recognize the value of life… Too, men and women are equally capable – not to be treated as Armenians have been by the ignorance and mentality  of the Turks.  Armenians, Christians, know, abide by higher value for human life – we know because we lost so many to the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation.  Let us not be as of Turkish who kill/eliminate lives… still.    Manooshag

  36. I have been outraged by Zaruhi’s dreadful story.
    In Armenia the police is corrupted, and what about the doctors ?
    Has this poor Zaruhi never been to a medical visit ?
    Is there no social workers in Armenia ?
    No priests ?
    Shame on the Government of Armenia !

  37.  How the authorities are going to act….Shame on them  …as our friends said: they are real monsters.
    Are we sure this will be the last one ???????
    Hey frineds, break the silence ….

  38. The problem in Armenia is not its “police”, it is not its “politicians”, it is not even “men”… The problem in Armenia is “Asiatic and Islamic mentalities” masquerading as Armenian traditions and cultural practices. A thousand years of cultural, genetic and spiritual damage as a result of Turkic, Semitic, Persian, Islamic and Bolshevik rule cannot be fixed in a few short years. Armenian folk traditions/culture needs a – thorough – overhaul. It sometimes feels as if we Armenians are more Turkish/Islamic than Turks these days… However, I have hope in the new generation.

  39. Avetis –
    The problem in Armenia is not its “police”, it is not its “politicians”, it is not even “men”… The problem in Armenia is “Asiatic and Islamic mentalities” masquerading as Armenian traditions and cultural practices. A thousand years of cultural, genetic and spiritual damage as a result of Turkic, Semitic, Persian, Islamic and Bolshevik rule cannot be fixed in a few short years. Armenian folk traditions/culture needs a – thorough – overhaul. It sometimes feels as if we Armenians are more Turkish/Islamic than Turks these days… However, I have hope in the new generation.
    “Asiatic and Islamic mentalities” masquerading as Armenian traditions and cultural practices may be present in a segment of Armenia’s population, but there are also segments that are less influenced by such mentalities. The problem therefore is not societal per se, because the illegitimate ruling cliques—past or present—their “politicians”, policemen, and semi-literate oligarchs, exhibiting the traits of “Asiatic mentalities,” namely: inherited corruption, nepotism, self-centeredness, narrow-mindedness, mismanagement, etc., do not represent ALL segments of our nation, leaving out the most open-minded, broad-based segment existing mostly outside of the Republic. Also, there is no such thing as “Semitic”, “Islamic” or “Bolshevik” rule. You have dumped ethnic, religious and political influences in one trash can. Semitic is Arab rule (Jews never ruled Armenia). Islamic is Persian, Arab, and Ottoman Turkish rule. Bolshevik is Russian Soviet rule. Be consistent.

  40. As  heart-breaking the article was, I disagree with Ms. Barsoumian’s section on ‘The traditional Armenian image’ and her characterization of the Minister of Diaspora Mrs. Hranush Hakobyan.
    Fortunately, I have had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Hakobyan in person while in Armenia where I delivered a short speech for the staff of the Ministry of Diaspora on the Armenians of Ethiopia. I am an Armenian man living in Canada, born and raised in Ethiopia, where there once existed a small Armenian Diaspora population. In my opinion, I found Mrs. Hakobyan to epitomize a liberated and free Armenian woman who speaks her mind without any fear or hesitation. She is astute, intelligent, a strong organizer, and more than anything, deeply devoted to and concerned with the current condition of women in Armenia and the Diaspora. Her main aspiration in life is to improve the image of Armenian women around the globe. She deplores violence against women and has always worked towards the realization of these goals by protecting the most vulnerable.
    Let me begin with Ms. Barsoumian’s reference to the “Miss Armenia” beauty contest. This particular endeavour of organizing such a contest is meant to uplift the morale of Armenian women and allow them to organize in various ways that will give them great pleasure and perhaps a sense of recognition within their communities. Although there are women and women’s groups who are unsupportive of such events, there are many countries around the world, particularly in the west, with millions of beauty pageant viewers. Moreover, these beauty queens are not only judged by their beauty but their intelligence, past services to community, knowledge of current global events, as well as their intellectual capacity. Therefore, the criteria that Mrs. Hakobyan puts forward that participants should be judged and should have “mastered” the Armenian language, have knowledge of Armenian cuisine, and “preserve the image of an Armenian woman,” is not an evil thing to hope for, and should not be misconstrued as such. In fact, not only do I think it is a valuable asset for Armenian women to possess these attributes, but further believe that this image should also extend to Armenian men as well.
    Mrs. Hakobyan has undoubtedly witnessed the perils of women who have fallen victim to the international sex trade industry, global prostitution and related networks which foster an environment of abuse against these women. For someone who has perpetuated women’s rights and freedoms, Mrs. Hakobyan is certainly not one to refer to women in a derogatory manner, whatsoever.
    Ms. Barsoumian further went on to quote Mrs. Hakobyan, “I also don’t accept journalists who raise their pens and attempt to write filth about the traditional Armenian image in the papers.” I can understand the anger of an Armenian journalist such as Nanore Barsoumian as she is a capable and a popular journalist both amongst the Diaspora and within Armenia simply doing her job. As I read the entire article, I was very saddened and moved by the unfair and inhumane treatment of Zaruhi Petrosyan and her eventual murder by her husband and mother-in-law. However, her assertion and characterization of the Diaspora minister is misleading and somewhat biased. Instead of taking the words of the minister contextually, I would have preferred she exposed more coverage on the achievements that the Minister has made in fighting for Armenian women’s rights and freedoms. I believe that if Ms. Barsoumian had met the Minister in person and understood how she thinks and how hard she works in helping disadvantaged women, this article would have been a bit more objective.
    Furthermore, the Minister continues to say, “Really good things can be portrayed in these processes of globalization, while the bad is not reproduced. The world is changing very quickly, it’s getting smaller. We can see and comprehend all the social phenomena of different countries, but the traditional Armenian woman is a good mother, a good daughter, a good wife. All her actions, really, are balanced and measured.” What is there to disagree with this statement? I am sure we Armenians, like any other race or nationality, would like to have good mothers, good daughters and good wives including ones who are balanced and measured in their actions and behave “within limits” of acceptable human dignity. It probably comes as no surprise that not only Armenians want to have good mothers, daughters, etc. but that this desire is universal among all men in the world. I am sure the same is true for women, expecting the same from men.
    I would not be surprised in the least bit if one day we see Mrs. Hakobyan occupy the highest political position in Armenia. This will be the day when all Armenian women will be liberated, at least begin to be liberated, from all forms of abuse and domestic violence. There is much that needs to be done with regards to the legislation and social perception of abuse in Armenia and within the Diaspora and Mrs. Hakobyan is one of the many women actively fighting for these rights and freedoms on behalf of all women, Armenian or otherwise.
    Garbis Korajian
    G. Korajian  a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School of Government. At present he is a senior advisor and trainer on “Good Governance” in developing countries. He could be reached at: or

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