Saturday, 9 April 2011

Police chief Alik Sargsyan, national security “hOrinats Yerkir” Arthur Baghdasaryan, and US State Department human rights report on LGBT discrimination in Armenia


Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Societal attitudes towards homosexuality remained highly unfavorable, with society generally viewing homosexuality as an affliction.

Persons who were openly gay were exempted from military service, purportedly because of concern they would be abused by fellow servicemen. However, the actual exemption required a medical finding via psychological examination that gays possessed a mental disorder, which was stamped in their documents and could affect their future.

According to human rights activists, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons experienced some of the most humiliating discrimination in prisons, where they were forced to do some of the most degrading jobs and separated from the rest of the prison population.

Societal discrimination based on sexual orientation continued to be a problem with respect to employment, family relations, and access to education and health care for sexual minorities.

In an interview with the Iravunk biweekly that appeared in the newspaper's December 24 to 27 edition, Artur Baghdasarian, secretary of the National Security Council that advises the president on national security matters, answered a question on homosexuality stating that, "Such conduct does not fit in with our society. Family and Armenian traditions prevail for people who were the first to adopt Christianity. Those unnatural things are unacceptable to us. I am against limitations of human rights in general. However, I consider homosexuality is extremely dangerous for Armenia." [Unzipped: Gay Armenia - read also “Unnatural” national security ‘top’/‘bottom’ Arthur Baghdasaryan says homosexuality “extremely dangerous” for Armenia]

In an interview in the Hraparak daily on December 6, National Police Chief Alik Sargsyan answered a question on the gathering of homosexuals in one of Yerevan's central parks, stating that, "We try to take them to such a place where they won't be seen, but they like to appear in public. We do not practice any violent measures, do not violate human rights, it is their business, but in our city, it is not appropriate for people…I cannot bear them physically." [Unzipped: Gay Armenia - some of my relevant posts re Alik Sargsyan]

Reports on Georgia and Azerbaijan
Relevant post from 2010: US State Department human rights report: "Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity" in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan

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