In a scene straight out of the Middle Ages, dozens of villagers in Armenia’s Syunik region formed a lynch mob to attack the town’s LGBTQ citizens. Multiple victims were hospitalized.
Over 30 men, women and children from the village of Shurnukh – including the former mayor – viciously beat the men and chased them out of the town. Victims report that police took over an hour to respond as the night of horror continued.
Radio Free Europe reports that two men confronted the group at one of the victim’s home, shouting homophobic slurs and threats of violence. The activists quickly packed their bags to leave before the men could return, but by then the lynch mob had formed and was on their doorstep.
British news site Gay Star News cites Belgian LGBT activist Rémy Bonny multiple times with quotes from the homeowner, Hayk Oprah Hakobyan, but does not say how Bonny got the information. It does not appear that Bonny was in the country at the time of the attack and he has only posted one tweet about the incident.
“In the beginning, they were just shouting that homosexuals can’t live in this village, but it became violently very fast. We started running for our lives,” Hakobyan said according to the site. “They followed us and started to beat us up and throw rocks. We all got hurt, but two of my friends are seriously injured and had to go to the hospital immediately.”
The site also reports that the former mayor was part of the mob and that police took over an hour to respond to the ongoing violence. The men were able to record portions of the attack.
“We had to wait for more than an hour for them to show up. But we are hopeful that the attackers will be punished since we recognized a lot of them and we were also able to somehow film them,” they quote Hakobyan via Bonny.
Pink Armenia posted on Facebook that nine people were sent to the hospital for various injuries.
“We are calling upon the police officers of Goris Police firstly to ensure the safety and security of the activists, as well as undertake the appropriate measures to find and prosecute the perpetrators,” the group said in the post.
🏳️🌈🇦🇲 9 LGBTI People got attacked by 30 villagers in a small Armenian village. 2 of them are seriously injured. This is something that should not be happening in the 21st century. Fortunately, this people can still tell what happened. Let’s commemorate all those who can’t! pic.twitter.com/AeKhAAxEga
— Rémy Bonny (@RemyBonny) August 4, 2018
Here is a photo of one of the injured activists beaten yesterday in the village of Shurnukh, Armenia..#HateCrime #Homophobia #Ignorance #Violence #HumanRights #LGBTRights #GayArmenia #GayArmenian PINK Armenia
BREAKING: Today, on the 3rd of August, around 20:00, in Shurnukh village, Syunik region, more than 30 people attacked 9…
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