‘Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.’ These words, spoken by Pope Francis ahead of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turks in 1915, are also applicable to the unsolved murders in Armenia, parents of soldiers who died in the Armenian army in non-combat conditions said on Thursday, April 30. The parents had once again arrived at the Residence of the RA President, demanding a fair investigation into their sons’ deaths.
“Serzh Sargsyan rejoices that the Pope spoke of the Genocide. The Pope said that if the perpetrators remain unpunished, do not accept their guilty, the wound is left bleeding. These same words apply to us, too. Our wounds are bleeding. Serzh Sargsyan says Turkey must recognize the Armenian Genocide, to restore our faith. The same can be said for us. What about our faith? First, Serzh Sargsyan should recognize the genocide of our families. I don’t have a son anymore to carry on my family line,” Nana Muradyan, mother of Valery Muradyan who died in the Army in 2013, said.
The Police did not let the parents approach the gates of the presidential residence. The law enforcement officers were asked by the parents to at least not stand in front of the poster with the pictures of the dead soldiers, so that it would be visible for passers-by, as well as from the office windows of the Head of the country – the main addressee of the protest action.
The Police officers, however, went on covering the meter-long poster, which further angered the protesters. “Calm down, no one bothered you. It’s your problem, you are troubled, ” a senior lieutenant (pictured) responded.
Another officer claimed he felt offended when the demonstrators “touched on our mothers and sisters.”
Hovsep Muradyan, father of Arman Muradyan who died in the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army in 2013, referenced to the law passed by the National Assembly, according to which people who left the country and did not serve in the Army could return to Armenia, pay a fine, and avoid criminal responsibility.
“Who’d come back to serve after seeing pictures of our murdered children? Isn’t it obvious, this law is a new way to rip off money,” Muradyan said.
Video in Armenian only.