Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Armenia flag now up flying among other Olympic nations in London

In my previous post, I mentioned that contrary to British media headlines re: national flags of ALL Olympic nations are on a prominent display (Regent Street) as a welcoming gesture from London 2012, there was no sign of Armenia flag. Apparently, quite a few flags were missing back then.

Things have changed, and Armenia tricolour has now been put up on upper part of Regent street (picture above).

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Armenia: A Slow Slide Into Fascism? (Huffington Post)

Very powerful post by Christopher Atamian on Huffington Post. A must read that should act as an alarm bell.

"Now of course is not the time to abandon Armenia. Armenia continues to be a strong ally of the United States. Armenians around the world, in spite of the oligarchs' best efforts to destroy their people's reputation as an educated, hard-working minority, continue to be a symbol of survival and success. But LGBT organizations, the American government and the relatively powerful Armenian diaspora must unite in putting real pressure on the Armenian government to reverse the worrying anti-democratic and fascistic developments that threaten to completely engulf the country. The Armenian government must not only fight corruption, it must publicly oppose attacks on all minorities, particularly LGBT people, and promote an atmosphere of democracy and tolerance in the country. Not to do so is to shame Armenians around the world, not to mention the memory of 1.5 million people who lost their lives during the Armenian Genocide."
Read it following the link below; also re-posted on Unzipped: Gay Armenia.

Armenia: A Slow Slide Into Fascism?

Christopher Atamian 
Writer, director, producer and translator 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Unbearable cruelty of being of Armenia tycoon - turned MP - turned Football Federation president & his entourage

News on cruel beating of military doctors by bodyguards or security personnel of the president of Armenia Football Federation, MP of ruling Republican party, tycoon homophobe Ruben Hayrapetyan, nicknamed ‘Nemets Rubo’, or as per this suggestion - 'Fascist Rubo', were shocking but unfortunately not unexpected.

Horrific details of the incident were provided by one of the victims in an interview with RFE/RL. Major Vahe Avetyan, another victim, is in critical condition.

The men, all of them military doctors, were hospitalized with serious injuries. One of them, Major Vahe Avetian, remained in critical condition on Tuesday. Avetian suffered life-threatening head injuries in a reported dispute with restaurant staff on Sunday.
Artak Bayadian, another doctor taken to a Yerevan hospital, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( that the violence was triggered by Avetian’s verbal argument with a waiter. Bayadian said he, Avetian and their three companions were told to leave the restaurant before being attacked by 10-15 other men. He said they were repeatedly punched and kicked.
Some Armenian media were quick to suggest that the attackers were security guards of the expensive restaurant belonging to Ruben Hayrapetian, a wealthy businessman affiliated with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). He is also the chairman of the Armenian Football Federation.
Hayrapetian has faced opposition allegations of politically motivated violence in the past and is also notorious for insulting journalists. The tycoon has been accused in some media outlets and online social networks of possibly sanctioning or even ordering the beatings." [RFE/RL, picture - by Photolur] 
Although initial reports say that the beating was done by the direct order of ‘Nemets’, I have no doubts he will be spared of responsibility. Some may lose their job in a showcase of ‘punishment’. Like countless of times before, they will find a scapegoat among thugs who beat up doctors. He would claim ‘full responsibility’. Needless to say, there will be no mention of orders from the boss. Quite the contrary, they may even attempt at presenting the case as an “accident” and/or they will blame the victims. The main scapegoat will be arrested, tried. His family and himself will be supported financially and otherwise by the boss and perhaps some time soon, under whatever excuse, he will get out of the jail.

This is the scenario that will be put in place.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that the incident is shocking but not unexpected. When you condone violence in one case, you do the same towards others too. This particular and similar incidents are reflection of "acceptable" and "justifiable" violent macho 'culture' still prevalent in the Armenian society and on a very high state level.

Reflecting recent firebombing of gay friendly bar DIY in Yerevan, ‘Nemets Rubo‘ said he “condemns terrorism” but “in favour of punishing gays and ready to do it myself”. “We should think of another way of punishing to eradicate them from our society.”

He said he does not support terrorism. Of course, he doesn’t. He never does. Why would he? He has entourage for such jobs: bodyguards, security personnel, you name it... See, if it comes to gays, he is ready to do it himself. For everyone else, there is his entourage. Perhaps, gays should feel lucky?!

But look who is voicing his support for ‘Nemets Rubo’. Yes, yes... Eduard Shamazanov, vice-speaker of the Armenian parliament, spokesman of the ruling Republican party. The very guy who supported terrorism in his own country. To remind, Sharmazanov dubbed terrorist act by firebombers against DIY bar a “rebellion”, “right and justified”.

What would you expect of him? Nothing less than unreserved support for his comrade. And he didn’t disappoint. He called him a “decent and moral person” at a time when at least three military medical officers/doctors (one in critical condition) are in hospital in a patient’s capacity, severely beaten up.

In the meantime, it’s been two days and there have been no statements from the MoD on beating of their officers/doctors.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

No or wrong Armenia flag to celebrate Olympic nations in London

UPDATE 26 June 2012: Armenia flag now up flying among other Olympic nations in London

On Friday, the headlining news in British media announced that London's Regent street re-designed to fly national flags of ALL Olympic nations, participants in London 2012. This is intended as a celebratory welcome to all nations ahead of the start of Olympic games in a month time.

On picture it looked like a pretty impressive display of flags. So I decided to capture this historic moment, and of course flying of the Armenian flag among Olympic nations.

Alas... there was none. The display was impressive, indeed, but I saw no Armenia flag whatsoever.

...unless they've made an error by displaying this red-blue-(wide) yellow flag twice (you can see it in a picture below: second row towards left, and repeated two rows behind towards right) and confusing it with Armenia one.

FYI to organisers: here is how Armenia tricolour (red-blue-orange) looks like (via Wikipedia):

I do not know who is responsible for this, or who advised re flags, but I left feeling disappointed...

Saturday, 16 June 2012

New image of Armenia police? All is good BUT...

For now, it's a small unit based in central Yerevan only, aimed mainly at foreigners. They know foreign languages, they wear new uniform, they are able to provide first aid...

All this points towards the right direction but...

1. They should learn to be less intrusive, to avoid bothering people by asking if they need help. I do not think a foreigner enjoying evening with friends in downtown Yerevan would appreciate uninvited attention by police, however civilised, polite and smiley they may be. They (police) should be out there to provide assistance IF needed.

2. This is by far more serious point. If you aim to provide first aid, and if you put your blood group type on your uniform (which is GOOD!), make sure you indicate it right. Have a look at 4:33 - 4:34 minutes of the video. Thanks to a friend who pointed this out, blood group "O" is equivalent to "I" not "II" as wrongly indicated on the uniform.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee, London, pics (part 1)

 *Chocolate crown, Selfridges, London
 *Traditional British weather, Selfridges, London
*A builders tea party, Selfridges, London
 *Queuing for Britain, Selfridges, London
*Hammersmith, London

For part 2 - see Unzipped: Gay Armenia.