May 24, 2012[Armenian version]
The US Embassy condemns the firebombing of Yerevan's D.I.Y. Club on May 8, 2012, and the continued acts of vandalism against the club. The crime appears to have targeted a sexual minority group. Armenia’s own constitution prohibits the incitement and use of violence. Using violence against any minority--racial, religious, ethnic or sexual--is unpardonable. Acts of hate should never be condoned by public officials, let alone praised. Regardless of their minority affiliation, all citizens and foreign guests in Armenia enjoy equal protection under Armenia’s constitution and law, so violence against them should be swiftly and firmly prosecuted and the offenders punished. We urge Armenian officials to adopt a zero tolerance policy against all hate crimes and violence directed at minorities in Armenia, and to fulfill their responsibility for according all citizens protection under the law.
Today, in Washington, D.C., Secretary Clinton is releasing the 2011 Annual Human Rights Reports, which call for tolerance of diversity, all types of diversity, based on internationally accepted standards and principles. You can watch the live broadcast of the release at http://www.state.gov at 10:30am (6:30pm in Yerevan).
In the meantime, the US State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 - Armenia
Report says: "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons were subjected to societal abuse and discrimination by military and prison authorities."
Societal Abuses, Discrimination, and Acts of Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Societal attitudes toward LGBT persons remained highly negative, with society generally viewing homosexuality as an affliction. Societal discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity negatively affected the employment, family relations, and access to education and health care of sexual minorities. Openly gay men were exempt from military service, purportedly because of concern that fellow servicemen would abuse them. However, the actual exemption required a medical finding, by means of a psychological examination, that an individual had a mental disorder; this information was stamped in the individual’s personal documents. According to human rights activists, sexual minorities were frequent targets for humiliating discrimination in prisons, where they were forced to perform degrading labor and separated from the rest of the prison population.
Other Societal Violence or Discrimination
There were no reports during the year of acts of societal violence or discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS.