Supporters of Sargis Hakobyan, 33, who is accused of causing psychological and physical pain, and beating his wife Hasmik Khachatryan for 9 years, after the trial today attacked activists and supporters of Khachatryan.
The individuals supporting the domestic violence survivor were themselves threatened with violence. A group of men and women cursed them and urged them to leave Gavar, where the trial is taking place.
Among the instigators of the altercation was Armenian-Russian Union leader, former leader of the Progressive Socialist Party Robert Aharonyan (pictured), who intended to run for the 2013 presidential election. Outside the courtroom today he shouted at Women's Resource Center of Armenia Executive Director Lara Aharonian [no relation], urging her "not to destroy the Armenian family."
"I'm surprised, where are the people of Gavar, who have allowed them to stand here in the middle of the square? Where are you from? Get lost, go back to your country [the expression in Armenian was much harsher]! Why have you come to interfere with Armenia? You did not drink the water here; you don’t know the customs here. Woe to he who gave you freedom […] Go to your diaspora," he shouted at Aharonian. Note, among the activists were diasporan Armenians who have been living in Armenia for many years and have Armenian citizenship.
To Lara Aharonian's statement that she doesn't intend to leave the country, Robert Aharonyan said: "The day will come [when] we will deport you, [and] close the border. I am a supporter of strong families — not [derogatory Armenian term for gays]. Don't destroy the Armenian family with your European approaches."
Robert Aharonyan also said that "a man has the right to slap his wife."
Note, Robert Aharonyan previously participated in the rallies outside the Covered Market supporting Republican Party of Armenia MP Samvel Aleksanyan, who is known to be the owner of the market formerly known as Pak Shuka.