News.am reports (confirmed by police) that last night shots were fired from the air gun towards transvestite sex workers in downtown Yerevan’s cruising park Kom aygi (also called Pleshka), in front of the Yerevan municipality. Minor injuries were reported. Suspects - two young guys - were swiftly identified, detained and questioned by police. Investigation is underway.
Media reports presented this crime within the context of latest anti-gay violence in Armenia. Although it has not been confirmed yet that the motives were indeed hate crime, considering the circumstances, it is more than likely. Of course, I cannot exclude the possibility of personal client/sex worker related incident.
In any case, two positive aspects I’d like to point out:
1. Sex workers reported the incidence to the police (in absolute majority of similar cases in past, crimes remained unreported).
2. Police acted swiftly to identify suspects.
Of course, it’s a completely different matter re: how the investigation will be carried out, and whether those who committed the crime will be held accountable before the law.
Will update, in case of new developments.