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The Faces of March 1 Victims in Armenia: David Petrosyan

David Petrosyan died on Mar. 1, 2008, in Yerevan, Armenia. His mother, Mrs. Jemma, told Epress.am a little about her son’s life.

“I am in an bed-ridden, helpless state, my foot broken, I’m lying down. I’m taking this very arduously, that I am not going on a hunger strike in the middle of the square. We, mothers who’ve lost sons, are going to be crying for a long time; I’m dying on my feet. My son, David Petrosyan, was a very dignified man. He was born on Apr. 16, 1975. Not having yet completed school, the earthquake happened. We lived a very difficult life. But he was a man blessed by God. From 14 years old, David began working as a silversmith; that talent comes from the genes, his father too, Levon Petrosyan, was a talented man, but now I am the murdered Petrosyan’s mother. From 16 years old, David began working as a goldsmith; he worked in the Baghnik jewelry store in Yerevan. In 2005, he moved from Vanadzor to Yerevan to live.

“By the way, on Mar. 1, 2008, David spoke with me, he said, ‘mom, I finished my work, I’m going home. At the time I was living on Atoyan street in Yerevan; I participated in the demonstrations every day. When my son called, I was seeing that murderer Robert Kocharian’s face on the TV, he was saying, there are dead, there are injured. Then my son, on his way home, when he sees so many people gathered, as if all the dignified Republic of Armenia citizens, he joins them and then it turns out, he shot footage with his phone. At quarter to 2 am they tell me my son has died; the people who took him to the hospital called me. From a 9mm bullet shot from a distance of 2 meters, my David is deprived of his right to life. He loved life, he loved children, he was a gifted person. I still keep his workspace today, my hands don’t move to touch his tools, his breath is resting on them, every second I wait that he’ll call out from the yard, ‘mam jan.’ All this time, apart from HAK [the Armenian National Congress], no one has asked, how are you, Mrs. Jemma? HAK sometimes calls, they come. I am so grateful for those honest people. But that Heritage Party has not one day asked how I am. I’ve contacted them, to help with receiving medical assistance, I’m a [citizen with a] second-level disability, but there was no response. We for Raffi Hovannisian as mothers are just a mosquito. They appeal to Armenian mothers with calls: “A ghost is flying in the sky, it is the ghost of innocent victims, mothers of the world, stand over your rights. Those mothers who don’t engage in activities, who don’t fight don’t share our pain, so they support the Mar. 1 massacre. But one day, that day is not far, the sorrow will knock also on their door. Armenian political officials with Turkish fezes — Robert Kocharian, Vardan Oskanian, Tigran Torosyan, Raffi Hovannisian, Artur Baghdasaryan, Gagik Harutyunyan — who will lead to the nation’s perdition, don’t bring the mothers tears, don’t clothe them in black clothes.’

“Why does the Armenian Diaspora remember what happened 100 years ago; why doesn’t it do anything for the victims of Mar. 1, 2008? Why do thousands of people in Greece come out into the streets for a single individual, but here, not? Why don’t well-known Charles Aznavour and other famous people speak, why are they silent?

“I’m disabled, but I don’t think of dying because I’m going to fight for our children, for future generations. Today too I would very much want to go to the rally, but I’m bed-ridden. And though my son was born on Apr. 16, I perhaps will celebrate his birthday today, the birth of a dignified person.”

Today is the third anniversary of Mar. 1, 2008, when mass protests against alleged electoral fraud, organized by supporters of unsuccessful presidential candidate, first president of the Republic of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian, followed the presidential election of Feb. 19, 2008, in Armenia. On Mar. 1, 2008, national police and military forces, called in to disperse the crowds, used “excessive force and violence” which left 10 people dead and many more wounded.