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20-Year-Old Woman’s Death Sparks Petition to Pass Domestic Violence Law in Armenia

Two local NGOs, Society Without Violence and the Women’s Rights Center, call on all interested parties to be observant and follow-up on the much-publicized case of Zaruhi Petrosyan, 20, who died earlier this month as a result of domestic abuse in Armenia. 

An initiative group of NGOs was created to address this issue and publicize the case; to follow-up on the process and make sure a fair verdict is reached in the criminal case.

In a statement released by the two NGOs yesterday, background to the case was provided as well as a call to action:

“On the 1st October in 2010 in Masis town, Armenia at the result of inhuman torture and beatings 20 year-old Zaruhi Petrosyan died. According to Zaruhi’s sister’s interview given to News.am, Zaruhi’s husband and mother-in-law broke her fingers so that she wouldn’t be able to phone emergency service for help. Later they pushed her down from the stairs to hide their horrible actions under accident. 

“Currently Zaruhi Petrosyan’s husband Yanis Sarkisov is under arrest. A criminal case has been processed by the Article 112, 2nd Paragraph, 4th point of the Criminal Code of RA (Infliction of willful heavy damage to health with particular cruelty).

“Our silence is claiming that such cases are common in Armenian society and our indifference allows such cases be continued and repeated. 

“Thus, we call Women NGOs, mass media and interested international organizations to be observant and follow-up this case enabling the transparency and fairness of the trail procedure on this case. The guilty people must be punished by the law, as the acquittal of these people will lead to new such violent cases.

“On this issue an initiative group of NGOs was formed in order to provide the publicity of the case, to follow-up the process of the criminal case and to reach the fair verdict.

“All interested people can join the group, as only by the strong and united efforts we can reach the Justice. You can send your comments and suggestions to the initiative group by the 27th of October to the following e-mails: [email protected], [email protected]

“You can also join online to the petition “Armenia must pass law on domestic violence” by the following link:


“For more details on the case you can visit: