Members of the Sinjar Yezidi National Union today protested outside Armenia’s National Assembly for what they are calling racist remarks by ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) MP Manvel Badeyan.
Protestors, members of the Yazidi ethnic minority in Armenia, brought a photo of a donkey and a roll of toilet paper to give to the lawmaker. With these “gifts,” the protestors made clear their concerns regarding the parliamentarian’s offensive remarks.
In parliament today, a journalist asked the MP whether it was appropriate that the program “What, Where, When” was broadcast on Armenian television in the Russian language. “Are you really that low-levelled that you think like that? If this question was asked by some Yazidi on the street I wouldn’t be surprised, but do you really think like that?” MP Badeyan replied, adding that “the working language of that program is Russian.”
Sinjar Yezidi National Union representative Boris Tamoyan (pictured) said the parliamentarian’s remarks are uneducated remarks and cannot even be considered remarks, and they brought the toilet paper so that the MP can clean his mouth. Protestors left both the toilet paper and the image of a donkey at the parliament’s reception desk.
Tamoyan said that representatives of the Yezidi community in Armenia intend to appeal to the parliamentary ethics committee, though they believe that in the committee and in the parliament at large the majority of MPs are no different than Badeyan. According to the Sinjar Yezidi National Union, officials often display such an attitude toward ethnic minorities. He described how a presidential candidate (whom he did not name) declared in a Yazidi village that Yezidis do not need a kindergarten.