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Modern Armenia » 2009 » August


  •    Terrorist-like threat to Armenian government: silence the writer   

    Group of Armenian ultra-nationalists, a copycat of Russia’s and others’ neo-nazi, united under the so called Hayrenik (‘Motherland’) movement, published a post on their website threatening the life of Armenian author writing under the name Dori An. Dori An is the author of award winning gay-themed short story in Yerevan. In one of his posts, he also touches the recently headlining issue of gay Charents (prominent Armenian poet). This outrages ultra-nationalists which call it a “war against Armenian nation, therefore against us”. Of course, according to them, all is planned from the “outside” to “demoralise” our society. [This is in line with the recent surge of homophobic and hate attacks in Armenia, including some local media and comments in Armenian sector of Facebook.]

    They provide Armenian government with the ultimatum type message: either you silence Dori An, using “legal means”, or we will do it by our means and methods. ‘Message’ is accompanied by Al-Qaeda terrorist-like picture, or its poor copycat.

    Failing to produce any ‘results’ by ‘fighting external enemies’, and failing on all fronts, these ultra-nationalists try to create ‘internal enemies’ to justify their very own existence.

    This is a direct threat to person’s life and the right for free speech, the very basic human rights protected under Armenian constitution. After all, this is effectively a terrorist-like ultimatum to Armenian government, and law enforcement agencies in Armenia should take up the case for further proceedings.

    Tags: Al Qaeda, Armenia, Hayrenik Motherland, Russia

  •    Hate: Armenian tabloid Iravunk advocates killing of gays   

    When someone is homophobe, it’s bad enough. But when that homophobe advocates killing, he is crossing the line.

    I have to confess, I do not read Iravunk tabloid. If it’s not for my friends, I would have been unaware of this whole bunch of ‘articles’ over the last week or so devoted to gays there.

    Internet is becoming more and more popular among Armenians, especially younger generation, and Iravunk cannot stand losing the Internet ‘battle’ to others, including gay Armenians, who dare to open up their websites and freely discuss the issues and their life. But they are not alone. Iravunk’s heart is bleeding that there are others out there who support gay rights and equality, or anything related to gays. Even the most widely accessible media in Armenia – television, occasionally shows gay-themed films. Horror. One of Iravunk’s so called journalists is shocked by a gay themed film shown on TV recently, calling it a “propaganda of homosexuality”. He then finishes his piece telling a ‘real story’ from Holland.

    [Translation of the main part: Years ago, a mayoral candidate of a city in Holland has openly said via TV that he is “blue” [gay] and will be defending their [gay] rights. When he walked out of the studio, he got shot dead. The killer said that he did not like the prospect of having a gay mayor, who publicize his disgusting orientation.]

    Iravunk’s journalist then notes that “we do not want you to take this story as a call for killing. We simply wanted to present this story”. Obviously, what they effectively did is to advocate killing of gays.

    Of course, Armenian Ombudsman will repeat that there is no problem of homophobia in Armenia as no one filed a complaint about it to his office. He may not even see or ‘be aware’ of the growing number of recent attacks towards gays in Yerevan. How convenient.

    In another piece, editor Galadjyan is outraged, digusted and simply cannot understand why journalist and writer Vahan Ishkhanyan has so inclined to “defend rights of sects and faggots”: “he is perhaps the only one who openly defends the rights of such a human garbage as ‘blues’ [gays] in Armenia”. But what is killing Mr Galadjyan is that Vahan established Ankakh weekly which quickly became a popular newspaper both online and in print. And the last drop to Iravunk’s nerves was a literary prize awarded to a gay-themed short story for the first time in Armenia by the same Ankakh weekly. The author of the novel is our very own Armenian Dori An (I will write a separate post on Dori An and his award-winning short story). Iravunk’s editor is apparently so threatened by a mere existence of a free-minded writer and his growing online presence and influence that he attempted at (unsuccessfully) cracking down the identity of a person writing under the Dori An nickname. Sad. Little, sad people. He accuses Dori An not only in “disgusting” activities and the use of ‘inappropriate language’, but “anti-national” too (familiar language, eh?). There is “enough evidence” for criminal persecution of Dori An, claims tabloid’s chief. Huh? Yes, there is definitely enough evidence for opening the case against Galadjyan and his tabloid for inciting murder and hatred.

    As a rule, one hate goes hand in hand with another hate. If you look at Iravunk’s articles, they are not just homophobic, but racist, full of hate to everyone who is different. If you are not gay, you would have still be hated by Galadjyan-like people. For ‘different’ ethnicity, colour of your eyes (skin), music you listen to, films you watch, T-shirt you wear. Anything, really, which is outside of their sad, little and narrow-minded world.

    In yet another piece, Galadjyan calls Armenian MP from parliamentary opposition Heritage party Zaruhi Postanjyan a “traitor” (for this). He cannot stand ‘European aspirations’ of growing number of Armenians, which he associates with gay rights and equality. Scary. According to the ‘rules’ of the ‘family’, Galadjyan writes referring to Europe, “homosexuals are also people” (!), then calling gays a “human garbage”.


    Apart from anything else, there is also big envy at play from Iravunk editor Galadjyan’s side. He knows very well that Dori An, Vahan Ishkhanyan or gay Armenian bloggers have more readers (with growing online presence) than his own 20 years old business enterprise which has left with the one main aim for now – to spread hate.

    You and your tabloid suck, Mr. Galadjyan. Big time.

    Tags: Armenia, Armenian Dori, Armenian Ombudsman, MP, TV, Vahan Ishkhanyan, Zaruhi Postanjyan

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