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Sister of Man Accused of Beating His Wife Tells Court “My Sister-in-Law Became a Gender”

Testifying in the Gegharkunik District Court of First Instance today in the case of Sargis Hakobyan, 33, accused of beating his wife and causing psychological and physical pain for 9 years, was the defendant's sister, Varduhi Hakobyan. The witness claimed that her sister-in-law, Hasmik Khachatryan, lived in their house "like a queen". This was conveyed to Epress.am by Hasmik Gevorgyan, programs manager of the NGO dealing with the case, the Women's Support Center. Recall, at the last court session, the defendant's father claimed that the couple "lived in peace and harmony."

According to Gevorgyan, the witness made statements having nothing to do with the case; in particular, she claimed that Khachatryan had inherited a mental disorder from her mother, that she didn't produce a child two years after the marriage, she was infertile, for which she was treated a long time, and that she has "many male hormones". As for the beatings Khachatryan suffered at the hands of the witness' brother, Hakobyan explained them by saying that she saw Khachatryan pull the child's hair and hit her on the head. 

Furthermore, the witness declared that Hasmik Khachatryan recently paid a visit to a "gender organization" and "became a gender". Asked what she means by saying "gender", Hakobyan replied, "homosexuality".

Note, ahead of today's court session, Women's Support Center representatives held a demonstration outside the building, holding signs that read: "Beat kufta [a type of meatball, the meat of which must be beaten], not women”, “A Fair Trial”, and “Abuse Does Not Bring Honor to a Gavartsi [a resident of Gavar]". 

According to Gevorgyan, after the session, the defendant's friends stole their posters. They told the drive that supposedly "the girls want their posters," after which they took them and left. 

The next court date is scheduled for April 18, where the defendant's other sister will testify. 

Recall, at the first court session, Khachatryan described in detail 3 instances of abuse that occurred on May 5, 2013; at the end of May 2013; and June 12, 2013. After the last incident, she ran away from her husband's home. On May 5, her husband hit her on the head, her ear, and kept her under alternating cold and hot water. According to Khachatryan's testimony in court, she was bedridden for one week. Furthermore, she wasn't allowed to see her father on his birthday, May 12. At the end of May, her husband came home drunk again, asked whether she knows that he's "a good guy," and put out his cigarette on his wife's hand. In June, Hakobyan beat Khachatryan with not only his hands and feet, but also a chair. 

Khachatryan's parents also testified, confirming that there there were regular disputes in the family and their daughter constantly escaped and came to their home, but she always returned to her husband, because she has children.

Photo: Presiding Judge Aghvan Petrosyan