The Armenian Rights Watch Committee of the Armenian Bar Association issued an announcement late Tuesday after members of the Republican Party of Armenia attacked and physically assaulted two female members of the Yerevan City Council. Below is the announcement.
On the heels of the newly-enacted domestic violence laws in Armenia, certain men in the Yerevan City Council chose to open the inaugural session with a display of base thuggery directed against their female counterparts on the Council. The brutishness is patently unbearable at this point.
These men cannot be lawmakers. They are not even law-abiding. Dare we say, they are not even true men. Watching the melee in the City Council chambers unfold, one could only watch in utter astonishment as unabashed brow-beating, actual slapping, violent striking and shameless and unrestrained bullying of Armenian councilwomen by their male counterparts ensued. Surely, something terribly significant is absent from the upbringing and moral fabric of these people. The behavior witnessed is something relegated to animals, not men—and is certainly unbecoming of those elected to serve in a law-making body.
Yet, these are the actual legislative representatives of an entire society of men and women. They represent the beater and the beaten in Armenian society. These men and women reflect the very current in the society they serve. And, as such, we should be alarmingly unhinged: imagine that which these criminals are capable of behind closed doors, in their own homes and with the women in their own families. This is not modern society.
Spare us the platitudes and politics already circulating—that the women instigated the men, that the women were the aggressors, that the men were defending themselves; they are meaningless. The video is clear: criminal Armenian men in suits pushing Armenian women, slapping Armenian women, striking Armenian women, handling Armenian women and dragging Armenian women around like refuse to a dumpster. If this cannot be a country that respects the dignity of our Armenian women, our Armenian mothers, our Armenian sisters and our Armenian daughters—then this cannot be a country that respects the Armenian people.
The perpetrators should not only be removed from office and prosecuted for gender-motivated hate crimes, but they should be openly shamed by an Armenian nation—both in the Republic and in the Diaspora—for exhibiting behavior unbecoming of civilized human beings, let alone mindful law-makers. It disgusts us through and through.
Shame on them for their brutality, shame on their families for having bred the brutality within them and shame on us for knowing that this Hobbesian predicament was unfolding in Armenian legislative bodies, Armenian courts, Armenian businesses, Armenians homes and Armenian families—and doing little or nothing to stop it.
We call on the resignation of Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan who witnessed, hovered over and condoned man’s inhumanity to woman. The enemy is not so much beyond the western or eastern frontiers as it is in the pretend democratic republic of a place once worthy of the name Armenia. And if there remains one single ounce of manliness in Margaryan the mayor, he will resign. And if there remains one single ounce of manliness in Margaryan the mayor, he will resign.
Armenian Rights Watch Committee—ARWC
Armenian Bar Association