The Public Protests and Authorities’ Response after the Outrageous Murder in Gyumri
19.01.2015
11:00
Those who demanded the 2015 Gyumri murder to be investigated in Armenia were labeled as opposition, with their position being described as anti-Russian whilst the events grew into a hot-button issue. Such opinion was expressed by the speakers today at the Media Center hosted press conference. The speakers included: Hranush Kharatyan, ethnographer; Zaruhi Muradyan, artist; and Karine Danielyan, head of the Association for Human Sustainable Development.

“The Armenian President’s first response to the outrageous murder in Gyumri was adequate but social networks were flooded with statements calling for people not to stir Russophobia as the national identity of a criminal is not decisive. Yet, his national identity and the Russian military base in Gyumri are objective reality. These statements have shaped the further events,” said Hranush Kharatyan.

With respect to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement on January 18, Kharatyan commented that the statement suggests suspect Valery Permyakov, soldier at the 102th Russian Military Base, will be tried according to Russian law. 

“Putin’s statement that Permyakov will be tried and punished by the full extent of the law means the soldier will be tried in Russia because Putin can issue such statements only for Russia and never for Armenia,” added Kharatyan.

The public, speakers believe, have reacted more prudently to the recent events, without any demand which might be out of Armenia’s jurisdiction.

The Armenian officials chose an ostrich policy, as Karine Danielyan described, which had a reverse effect and sparked protests.    

“The protesters in Gyumri and rallies in Yerevan, with their proper response, saved the repute of Armenian authorities who seemed to have slipped into a coma.

The official response is likely to be their counteraction to the rallies. Moreover, detaining protesters was absolutely inadequate,” said Zaruhi Muradyan.

Earlier, over thirty protesters were detained at the rallies in Yerevan.

The statement made by Gevorg Kostanyan, General Prosecutor of Armenia, suggests that suspect Valery Permyakov may be tried inside the geographical borders of Armenia but never according to terms of Armenian law and investigation, Kharatyan said. 

“Kostanyan’s words poured oil on the flames …. I must admit that our authorities have betrayed the public in two ways: first, they disgraced protests and riots, and secondly, what we have is nothing but an outrageous crime and people want to know the reasons,” added Kharatyan.

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