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Armenian Newly Appointed Justice Minister Criticized for ‘Liking’ Racist Comment

Arpine Hovhannisyan, the newly appointed Armenian Minister of Justice, caused a stir on Facebook Monday after liking a racist comment by Hovhannes Galajyan, editor-in-chief of the Armenian Iravunk newspaper, on one of her recent interviews.

On September 2 Arpine Hovhannisyan talked to the local Tert.am and shared the link to the article on her personal Facebook page. In the interview the newly appointed minister condemned the sentencing of Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, as well as the overall 'appalling' human rights' situation in Azerbaijan. 

Commenting on the Minister's appraisal, Galajyan, in particular, wrote: “What human rights when even purely biologically a turk cannot be considered human [sic].”


In the comments user Hovhannes Ishkhanyan asked the Justice Minister why she had 'liked' Galajyan's comment: “Dear Arpine Hovhannisyan, please explain your 'Like' on Hovhannes Galajyan's comment. Do you also think that Turks cannot be human? If so, please add what other nations or groups of people you do not consider human.”

Note, as of 2 PM Monday the newly appointed minister has removed the 'Like'; she's made no further comments.

In an interview with Epress.am Lusine Martirosyan, Head of Public Relations and Media Department of the RA Ministry of Justice, said Hovhannisyan's 'Like' was a result of a 'technical malfunction,' and that they would like 'to consider the matter closed.'

Arpine Hovhannisyan, 32-year-old parliamentarian from the ruling Republican party, was appointed by President Serzh Sargsyan Armenia’s new Justice Minister on Friday, September 4. Hovhannisyan is a member of the RA NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs and the Head of the Commission on Ethics of High-Ranking Armenian Officials.